Judge refuses to let HTC use patents gifted from Google in case against Apple18
You might remember that Google handed over those patents to HTC last year and with the wave of his pen granting Apple's motion, the judge forces HTC to return the patents. Now, Apple will have five fewer claims against it. There is a way that the patents could be used and that would be if Google joins the investigation as an additional complainant.
Google did not manufacture any handsets at the time of the complaint which was prior to the Motorola Mobility purchase.
Had Google not waited to make the patent transfer, or had they made the transfer in a manner that would have included all rights instead of issuing restrictions and limitations, Apple's motion might not have succeeded. Google has shot itself in the foot and now has to use that same foot to try to kick Apple in the rear. And the decision by the judge to block this "Rent-A-Patent" deal as Florian Mueller cleverly names it, could mean that other professional patent trolls that allow their members to "check-out" patents might have to do away with the practice. While they could all join investigations like Google might have to do, it would be unlikely that they could satisfy the domestic industry requirement since the patent holders don't really manufacture anything but large pay days for attorneys.