Jobs iPhone Patented!

While precious little new information is coming to light about Apple's just-announced lawsuit against HTC, a lot more specu-nalysis has been hitting the blogsphere, ranging from "Apple is seeking a cross-license to get HTC's patents" (shades of the accusations facing Nokia about their lawsuit against Apple), to "Steve Jobs feels personally betrayed by Eric Schmidt and is using HTC to get at Google's Android".

  • Niley Patel over at Engadget has done his usual, spectacular job digging through the patents in question and surfacing what looks to be behind them. 10 are for US court, 10 for the ITC. He also points out that these lawsuits can be settled tomorrow or can drag out 10 years.

  • Jesus Diaz of Gizmodo tackles the love affair and nasty breakup between Apple and Google, positing that after Apple made Google CEO Eric Schmidt a board member, and Google saw the iPhone dominating mobile web browsing, they "betrayed" Apple to try and seize that market for themselves. Having lost out to Microsoft in the Mac vs. Windows last-generation war, Giz thinks Apple has $40 billion ways to try and make sure the same doesn't happen to the iPhone in the upcoming next-generation mobile platform war.

  • John Gruber, the Daring Fireball, repeats his "if you can't beat 'em, sue 'em" quip from when Nokia sued Apple, and thinks Apple is making a "terrible mistake" suing HTC. He also despises the idea of UI patents.

  • Erick Schonfeld of TechCrunch think Apple is suing HTC for the same reason Nokia sued Apple: to get a cross-license on patents. What could HTC have that Apple would want? (Aside from 480p screens, but it's mostly TiPb who wants those...!)

  • Our own editor-in-chief Dieter Bohn, writing for, thinks that if Apple is engaged now with Nokia and HTC -- who have significant patent portfolios all their own -- maybe the threat of mutually assured destruction is no longer enough to keep Palm out of the patent pugilism. That does raise the question of who is next?

The US Patent Office seems to be granting everything up to and including Facebook's recent win for ridiculously broad "the feed". So we're guessing we'll be seeing more rather than less of these lawsuits as time goes on (unless there's some unlikely software patent-shaking decision spillover from the Supreme Court over Bilsky...)

For most of us, however, just like Nokia vs. Apple, it will remain a spectator sport, so about all we can do is pass the patent popcorn and watch. First round no-contest, or 10 slobberknocker, we'll have to wait and see...