Apple to go after Android in patent war?
The Cold War is long gone, replaced by the much more gentle and nerdy Smartphone War. In fact, its less warfare and more a case of scratching each others eyes out... but still... it's totally on and Apple are dancing around, looking to land the first punch.
See, Steve Jobs' company has won a preliminary ruling from a US trade panel judge that says HTC have infringed on two of Apple's patents. While HTC versus Apple is news enough, it seems that this could pave the way for Apple to go after Android as a whole.
Basically, Apple can now point at everyone and tell them that they are infringing their patent, which means Android companies will either have to cough up money or be chased out of town.
HTC, naturally, are going to "vigorously fight" the infringement finding.
The relevant patents cover "system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data", US patent No. 5,946,647, filed in 1996 and awarded in 1999. This patent is, in simpler terms, the thing that allows email addresses or phone numbers to be recognised and activated by a finger on a smartphone screen.
The Guardian report that Apple pointed out the infringement, noting that Android contains an "analyser server" for "detecting structures in the data" and further details that exactly align with the outline of its patent, adding that the second patent, "real-time signal processing for serially transmitted data", of US Patent No. 6,343,263, is also being breached.
The International Trade Commission, thus far, are siding with Apple, but full commission must rule on 6th December whether to uphold it or not.
Apple meanwhile, are pretty indignant about it all, saying that "competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."