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

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

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



1. 09wbd03516

Posts: 140; Member since: May 30, 2012

bad dog!!! htc

2. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

hold on lil doggy. if there is judicial precident for one company letting another company use its patents for litigation then the judge doesnt have a shoe to throw against it. The appeal should hold tight. And before the itrolls go and jump in, Apple regularly does this with every patent that they lose directly with. They have subsidiary shell companies that they let "borrow" their patents so they can then REsue the defendant they just lost to on their own. Apple is the biggest tech patent troll around.. by far.

13. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

I suspect this decision is going to be overturned on appeal. Worst case, Google joins the lawsuit. An ITC ban, while nice is not the end of the road. If Google prevails against Apple, damages will be non-trivial. If Google wants to pursue an ITC ban, it can transfer the patents to Moto and have Moto lead the charge against Apple. Net-net, a bit of a speed bump, but nothing fatal. More legal fees and attorneys get to fund their kids college tuition.

16. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

"if there is judicial precident for one company" The word is "precedent" and sounds like president as opposed to precedent with the long "e" as in condition precedent.

3. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

f**k THE JUDGE AND ITC For banning HTC phones. Just got a note from our recall dept and we have to resend our HTC EVO 4G back. But we only had one but sold it already. another customer ask for one and told them it was recalled. give u one guess who did it

4. JGuinan007

Posts: 699; Member since: May 19, 2011

This might be a good thing if HTC can't use Googles patents then all the Patent Trolls Apple has might not be able to "rent" Apples patents either.

5. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

Now that apple kicked google away from maps maybe Google should kick apple away from android OEMs.

6. o0tomas0o

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 11, 2012

OK...!!!!! itrolls stop f**king crying about everything, you see all the company's that are doing great and you get scared like a bunch on little bitches. And start taken them to courttttttt Woowwww stop being bitches (APPLE) why dont you guys concentrate in making great phones, instead of hating on every great phone out there that has a ANDROiD (OS)............ And you Judge Thomas Pender Instead of even paying attention to APPLE's crying you should just tell them to settle it out on the battle field, its obvious that they just want to kill the competition... Even though you look like a iPHONE guy get some balls.....

7. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

This is what happens when a new generation ignores what my generation fought for. Keeping Apple from becoming as huge as it is. Look what mess this industry is in now. Does this generation really feel like we didn't deal with Apple at one time? It's not a new company people. Take a guess who is going to pay for all this crap in the long run. All these companies now will only pass the buck onto us and Apple has the least to lose. They've been waiting for days like this for 30 years. Make the revenue and profits while eliminating choices. Don't license any thing and control what people can have and can't have. John B.

8. rudlie

Posts: 205; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

wow. it's a good idea. patent rental will be a good business in law case :)

9. darkvadervip

Posts: 366; Member since: Dec 08, 2010

All this beef getting cooked and ain't none of you all getting paid by google or apple. Just buy whatever phone you want and like it. I started off google and got tired of my phone freezing so I moved to smooth apple. Trying our windows like it but just waiting on it in tablet form instead of phone. It's called mix and mingle.

11. nicholassss

Posts: 368; Member since: May 10, 2012

All about this mix and mingle. buying an ipad this weekend, got a mackbook, would never part with my android devices. but its tough to mix and mingle if a company is blocking the device I want to buy. Apple makes great products, no way around that, but they're being babies. But we're not going to to stop anyone doing what they can to make money.

14. tedkord

Posts: 17512; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I would love to just buy the phone I want and like it, but Apple keeps trying to get the phones I want banned because they're rectangles with screens and unlock with a "zero length swipe."

10. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Just look at that smug little smirk on his face. Tell me that guy didn't go home that night and make love to his Macbook.

12. snowgator

Posts: 3624; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

I am kinda torn on this. Some have said Apple.does this themselves (though I haven't heard any specifics?), in which case this is crap. But, in the long run, I like the idea of the ruling. Even if you dislike Apple, this idea of "borrowing" patents when you cannot stand on your own two feet is dangerous. The patent system is already a mess, but allowing companies to use patents they had nothing to do with, or do not own through a purchase, is a horrible precedent to follow. I expect companies to respect the tech that came before it. No, I do not believe Apple is legitimate in most of their cases. I detest the idea of preventing products from getting to the customers hands. But, what if HTC is truly in the wrong here? It is not like Apple has been on a winning streak lately, having several decisions go against them. But if HTC is truly infringing, knew it, and tried to avoid the responsibility by having Google bail them out, isn't that actually worse for mobile than Apple winning?

15. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

I can't thumb you down because you make sense Snowgator. However, I think the issue that needs to be very much paid attention to, is the fact Apple has turned the competitive standard upside-down. Never have I seen so much litigation in an industry as I have seen here in the wireless industry. It has become eat or be eaten. Apple has embroidered their position to exterminate by blocking rather than offer fair competitve practice. Tablets is perfect example. Any tablet in question to enter and offer a viable choice for consumers, suddenly becomes a target for Apple to block and claim infringements just to bolster more time in market for the iPad. Now, is the Judge correct? He certainly has a point. But I think since the patent method for tech has become highly fragmented, the industry stands to lose a great loss each time issues like this arise. If Apple were more open, I don't believe there would be as much to lose. However, Apple's 30 year quest has been to control all user experience and render astronomical profits at all accounts. No excuses. Do we as society thirst for such control? Microsoft may have its faults, but they gave what people wanted; Choice to do what we wanted. It simply worked for the industry. Android is the new Microsoft that needs to be retained for balance in consumer choice. Apple doesn't want consumer choice as we have seen with their severe proprietary ecosystem and lockdowns. Are we ready for that grip in an industry that needs more freedom and choice? John B.

17. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

"However, Apple's 30 year quest has been to control all user experience and render astronomical profits at all accounts." Slammer, please drink your kool-aid somewhere else. Within those 30 years, Apple was almost out of business. The far-fetched stuff people make-up just to make a point is getting out of hand again. Slammer or John B., could you please stop being unctuous or a bloviator. Thank you.

18. Slammer

Posts: 1515; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

Ardent1: ---" Slammer, please drink your kool-aid somewhere else. Within those 30 years, Apple was almost out of business."--- Why do you think that is? As well as Apple manufactured and pushed quality of their products, my generation didn't buy into their rhetoric. Apple's DNA hasn't changed. They successfully marketed a new product to a new generation with the same old realestate terms. . You rent it with the provision that you obey their rules. Our gen bought on our terms. That's a large difference Ardent. I won't say you made a poor decision. But, I will say that after supporting Apple and owned their products for many years, I can confidently say; they are overrated.

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