While Apple vs. HTC is getting a ton of press this week (TiPb a culpa!) the New York Times blogs provides the above graph to show us it's just another strand in the growing web of mobile patent pugilism.
Although patent litigation is not new in the technology world, these suits, specifically around mobile, point to the drastically changing mobile landscape. Lawyers I spoke with explained that mobile technology was still in its infancy and these large computing companies were trying to stake their claim to the future of computing.
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".
Previously, on Patent Wars, Nokia escalated their lawsuit against Apple by requesting a US import ban on virtually every product Apple makes with the International Trade Commission (ITC), and now Apple has responded in kind against Nokia phones.
Yes, phasers and disruptor fire is criss-crossing the legal heavens and photo torpedos are exploding in the silence of judicial space.
Engadget confronted Android Founder Andy Rubin -- by all accounts a brilliant and passionate guy who really wants to make great products -- about why the US versions of the Droid and Nexus One don't use the Android 2.0 supported multitouch keyboard and gestures, while the non-US versions do. The response:
"It's not an America versus outside America kind of thing. It's a decision that is a result of the OEM model. I personally don't like two-handed operations... there is no conspiracy."
We all know Steve Jobs sculpted the iPhone from unicorn tears through a sheer act of singular will and hutzpah -- along with buying FingerWorks and winning a glove-full of multi-touch patents of their own along the way (which may or may not still result in several rounds of pugilism with Palm's Pre).
We know the score. Apple now holds a veritable smorgasbord of multi-touch patents, some dating way back before the iPhone, and some coming from their 2005 acquisition of a company called Fingerworks, and the innovative talents of Wayne Westerman and John Elias. But from whence did they draw their inspiration? MacRumors pulls the relevant quote from a University of Delware article: