The long running battle between Apple and HTC over patents has taken a turn. Apple presented a motion for dismissal of five HTC patents, which the judge granted. Apple raised this motion in relation to the fact that the five patents that HTC presented were not actually theirs to begin with. According to MacWorld, those patents had been sold to HTC by Google a week before the suit, last September. The International Trade Commission Judge Thomas Pender had ruled that HTC had failed to acquire all the substantial rights in all the relevant patents.
HTC withdraws from lost patent case
The five patents in question include:
- U.S. Patent No. 6,473,006 on a “method and apparatus for zoomed display of characters entered from a telephone keypad”
- U.S. Patent No. 6,708,214 on a “hypermedia identifier input mode for a mobile communication device”
- U.S. Patent No. 6,868,283 on a “technique allowing a status bar user response on a portable device graphic user interface”
- U.S. Patent No. 7,289,772, same title as the previous patent
- U.S. Patent No. 7,020,849 on a “dynamic display for communication devices”
The full list of patents being debated on in the case can be found here on Foss Patents. What's interesting is that most of these patents were not originally even Google's to begin with, and had changed companies at least twice before getting into Google's hands. HTC has since withdrawn its appeal and the company's Chairwoman Cher Wang has told reporters, “Apple is a company with 'big muscle' and is famous worldwide. In the United States particularly, it will be able to stop us by all means. This is our challenge. In the United States particularly, it will be able to stop us by all means. This is our challenge.” She went on to explain that HTC will strengthen its portfolio by applying for and purchasing more patents. The company is currently in the process of buying S3 Graphics Co., another company that is embroiled in a patent war with Apple.