Google has launched a massive legal counteroffensive against Apple. Google's strategy is to hand over the rights to patents it has acquired to smartphone makers using its Android operating system for smartphones and persuading them to sue Apple for patent infringement.
Bloomberg on Thursday said Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC is suing Apple for patent violation in a federal court in the U.S. state of Delaware. On Sept. 1, Google handed over nine of its patents to HTC, which it is now using to sue Apple. Four of the patents were originally owned by Motorola but went to Google when it acquired the mobile phone maker in August. HTC is the first smartphone maker to use the Android OS.
In the Delaware lawsuit, HTC claims patented technologies were being illegally used in Apple's Mac computers, iPhones, iPods, iPads, iCloud and iTunes. In other words, all Apple products and services are subjects of patent infringement lawsuits. HTC vowed to "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."
Apple is already suing HTC as well as Samsung Electronics and other smartphone makers using the Android OS. Industry watchers say the move signals Google’s determination to fight back in the patent war after it was criticized for standing watching from the sidelines as its clients get pounded by Apple's lawsuits.