In an interesting twist on the bitter patents wars taking place among technology companies at the moment, HTC has filed another lawsuit against Apple – but this time based on patents acquired from Google.
On 16 August HTC filed a lawsuit against Apple claiming infringement of three of its patents. Now the Taiwanese company has filed a further lawsuit involving nine patents, all of which were acquired from Google just one week ago.
HTC, the world’s fifth largest smartphone manufacturer, amended its existing complaint with the International Trade Commission (ITC) and US District Court of Delaware against Apple over three patent infringements.
It also filed an additional case in Delaware alleging patent infringement by Apple's iOS devices and Mac computers.
The interesting aspect of this case however is that the patents came from Google less than a week ago. A lot of questions still have to be answered about the deal. Did HTC pay Google for the patents or is the Mountain View company subsidising the legal defence of one of Android’s OEMs?
It is also necessary to ask why Google didn’t sue Apple itself, preferring it seems to do so through one of its Android partners. With the purchase of Motorola mainly for the purpose of acquiring patents according to Google, the company seems to be bolstering itself for a major battle with Apple.
“HTC will continue to protect its patented inventions against infringement from Apple until such infringement stops. We believe that we have an obligation to protect our business, our industry partners and our customers, who love using our products,” said Grace Lei, General Counsel of HTC.
In response to the latest move from HTC, Apple said: "We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."