Apple hates Android. With a passion. It hates Android as much as superfluous buttons and UI elements without gentle gradients. And if a rumor running around the legal circles of the tech industry can be believed, it hates Android enough to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees with barely anything to show for it. According to Newsweek’s Dan Lyons, Apple spent around $100 million dollars in its latest design patent suit against HTC. The result? HTC designed around the patents, leaving Apple with a big bill and a feeling of superiority. Not that they didn’t have that already.
When Apple petitioned the International Trade Commission to grant an injunction against HTC’s devices , it came back with its ruling in December, stating that the mechanism that allows phone numbers to be automatically highlighted and sent to the dialer app in Android violates Apple’s software patent. Facing a possible import ban, HTC simply disabled the feature (the only major function that Apple was able to successfully sue for) to comply with the ruling. After a series of software updates, probably costing HTC much less than its own legal defense fees, they’re good to go.
Will this zero-sum outcome deter apple from further legal skulduggery? Yeah, right. Just last week they his Samsung with a lawsuit based on the slide-to-unlock feature on the Galaxy Nexus, with a call for a ban on ten more devices in Germany. Despite being defeated in similar lawsuits in Australia and the US, and being designed around on the original Galaxy Tab 10.1 lawsuit in Deutschland, Apple seems intent on crying foul to any court that will hear them. Keep it up, Cupertino – surely your rabid userbase will forgive your incredible profit margins, outsourced labor force and engineered obsolescence for another year or so.