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Judge refuses to let HTC use patents gifted from Google in case against Apple

Posted: , posted by Alan F.

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Judge refuses to let HTC use patents gifted from Google in case against Apple
Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender has ruled that HTC cannot use patents it was gifted by Google to help it accuse Apple of infringing on the Taiwan based manufacturer's intellectual property. According to Judge Pender, HTC has not acquired all of the rights of the patents. If HTC decides to appeal and the decision holds up, HTC will be down to having three bullets in the 8 shot patent gun it has been holding against Apple's head in the second case that HTC has brought against Apple. Last summer, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt vowed in a speech that Google would do whatever it could to help HTC win its suit against Apple.

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

Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender

Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender

If Google decides to join the investigation, it will add to the legal battle between the Mountain View tech titan and Apple. Thanks to Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility, the company is already facing off against the Cupertino gang in court. Additionally, there might be some problem with Google passing the ITC's domestic industry requirement in terms of those 5 patents. HTC had argued that those 5 patents were used in the production of its products, but remember that the ITC says that the patents do not belong to them. And 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.

source: FOSSPatents

Judge Thomas Pender's ruling means that HTC cannot use the patents given to it by Google to accuse Apple of patent infringement

Judge Thomas Pender's ruling means that HTC cannot use the patents given to it by Google to accuse Apple of patent infringement


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