Apple Sends Warning to Google by Suing Android Manufacturer

by Matt Klassen on March 3, 2010

It’s hard to retain one’s place atop the mountain of smartphone developers, but one sure fire strategy to keep everyone else beneath you is to patent all the ideas associated with the mobile market, and sue everyone else for infringement.

In this true competitive spirit, Apple has done just that, responding swiftly and decisively to the rising challenge of the Android OS by suing HTC, the first company to produce a cell phone based on Google’s revolutionary OS, for infringing on several Apple patents.

While the litigation is solely directed at HTC, it’s certainly clear that Apple is firing a warning shot across Google’s bow, letting them know in no uncertain terms that both their Android OS and the newest Google smartphone, the Nexus One, are treading on Apple’s territory, and Steve Jobs won’t let that happen without a fight.

As Forbes has reported, in a recent interview the Apple CEO stated, “We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We’ve decided to do something about it.”

The complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Delaware targets: “certain mobile communication devices including cellular phones and smart phones, including at least phones incorporating the Android Operating System (collectively, “the Accused Products”).”

Apple has stated that HTC has illegally infringed on 20 of its patents that deal with numerous aspects of the iPhone’s hardware specs and user interface. Click here to see a list of several of the violations.

What is clear from all this is that Apple recognizes the significant challenge that Android based phones present to the continued dominance of the iPhone, and they are taking advantage of every avenue available to them to make sure other companies cannot profit off their technological advancements.

Forbes also contacted HTC, and although the company has yet to fully review Apple’s claims, spokeswoman Linda Mills stated that while “”HTC values patent rights and their enforcement,” they are also “committed to defending [their] own technology innovations.”

Before we begin to question the fate of the Android OS, though, know that technology companies routinely rattle their sabres in court over intellectual property. The ironic thing in all this is that Apple itself is facing charges regarding the iPhone from the Finnish-based Nokia over patented technology that Apple is allegedly using on its premier device.

But if you’re wondering what the future holds for Google and its Android based tech through all this, you’ll have to wait quite some time, as intellectual property and patent litigation such as this are often bogged down in courts for months, if not years, as lawyers and judges try to work their way through a veritable mountains of red tape.

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