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Google backs HTC

Google backs HTC

Product imageProduct imageThe mobile phone market has entered a litigation phase as competitors begin to finally rival Apple’s beloved iPhone.

Apple has decided enough is enough and all those software and hardware features it has invented on the iPhone cannot be copied by anyone else, especially not HTC.

Who is HTC? They are the inventors of such phones as the TyTN II, the HTC Touch and countless other variants that were all initially based on Windows Mobile 6. Whilst the phones were reasonably powerful and flexible and popular for people that wanted to check their Word or other Microsoft Office based documents the phones lacked mass market appeal. They also are the manufacturers for Google’s Nexus One.

Android, Google’s answer to the iPhone OS changed all that – with features similar to the iPhone. Apple has decided to sue HTC for its Nexus One phone – a phone that is sold directly by Google to its customers. Apple has claimed that HTC (formerly High Tech Computer Corporation) is in breach of 20 hardware and software patents that it owns.

Experts said Apple appeared to be focusing on HTC as it was an easier target. Tero Kuittinen, an MKM Partners analyst, said: “HTC is an optimal target for Apple — it’s a relatively small vendor with a weak brand. It may be easier to push around than Samsung (which also makes Android smartphones). One question here is whether Apple can intimidate operators to back away from new HTC products by flashing the possibility of litigation trouble.”

Last year Nokia sued Google for using its technology in the iPhone – as Apple had refused to pay any cross-licensing fees that the other operators and hardware vendors pay, Apple countersued. This new lawsuit against HTC is aimed at Google’s Android as most of the patents that Apple claims HTC infringes upon are software related.

Google has stated they will be standing behind HTC, even though they are not named as a party in the lawsuit.

Source: The Times

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Stuart Davidson

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