patents

HTC sued by Apple over alleged patent infringement

Apple have announced that they are suing HTC over various smartphone patents.  In their release, Apple claims HTC have impinged on 20 patents regarding the iPhone's user interface, underlying architecture and hardware.  While the specific patents aren't named, it's expected that multitouch will play a big part in Apple's complaint. Apple have previously threatened Palm with lawsuits over their intellectual property, and recently sued Nokia for alleged patent infringement.  We've checked with HTC who have no official comment at this point, but we can't imagine they'll sit by peacefully and allow Apple to walk on over them.
“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 … We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours” Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple
[via SlashGear]

Google Patent Application Influenced G1 Design?

A patent application filed by Google was recently uncovered, showing design ideas for a device not too unfamiliar to the Android-devoted. The application, filed in August 2007, details out a device with a touch screen interface on a slider mechanism covering a full QWERTY keypad. Based on the drawings included with the patent, it would appear we've already seen realization of this dream (gah I'm so funny), but we can't help wondering what would've happened without the help of HTC. Was Google prepared to enter the hardware sector? Or were they hoping all along for a manufacturer to pick up on this patent and offer up a partnership? Based on the patent application, Google spent a considerable amount of time scheming up the G1's current slider "arc" motion. A good number of the patent's points are used to describe the precise movement that the screen on the G1 takes when it is opened or closed. This almost makes it a good idea to keep an eye on hardware patent applications from Google, possibly lending insight into what the software giant has prepared for Android next.

Google axed Android multitouch at Apple’s request

Multitouch support was dropped from the Android platform, and therefore the T-Mobile G1, after Apple requested it not be included.  That's the latest rumor, apparently confirmed by an unnamed Android team member, who described the arrangement as an attempt by Google to avoid the IP aggression we've recently seen between Apple and Palm. While the G1's capacitive touchscreen certainly recognizes multitouch input - as recent hacks have demonstrated - and earlier builds of Android code included what's believed to be Google-written, but subsequently disabled, multitouch support, the functionality did not ship in the released device.  At the time, this was generally put down to Google's ambitious launch schedule, promising an Android device by the end of 2008, and that lack of timing meaning that multitouch fell by the wayside.  However it now looks as though its omission was purposeful, with Google prioritizing their good working relationship with Apple - and, some might say, common foe in Microsoft - over the handset's eventual capabilities. The unnamed source also confirmed the rumors that Intel is expending great efforts in supporting Android netbook development, suggesting that the chipset company is keen to be further involved in open-source budget ultraportable hardware.  While Intel's specific plans are unknown, the Android team member revealed that there are many different Android-based netbooks - as well as other, non-phone and non-netbook hardware - in development at present.
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