It’s another day in the tech world, which means that there are lots of stories swirling around Android devices allegedly infringing upon patents. Hit the jump for a quick roundup of this week’s Android patent litigation stories so far…
- First, FOSS Patents’s Florian Mueller reports that Chicago federal judge Richard Posner has tossed out one of the two remaining patents being used by Motorola in its infringement suit against Apple. This leaves Motorola with just one patent left to challenge Apple: U.S. Patent No. 6,359,898, which details a ”method for performing a countdown function during a mobile-originated transfer for a packet radio system.” The Motorola-Apple patent trial is slated to begin on June 11.
- Apple is facing a temporary setback in its efforts to get the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 banned in the U.S. as a federal court in California declined to give an immediate ruling on Apple’s request for a preliminary injunction. Although Apple has been litigious against many Android vendors, the Galaxy Tab has been one of its primary targets as the company has sued to get it banned from both Australia and the European Union. This isn’t especially surprising since Samsung has emerged as the top Android vendor in the world, and one of Apple’s only real tablet competitors, so it makes sense for Apple to make a show of going after the South Korea-based company.
- Ars Technica scored a good interview this week with Google general counsel Kent Walker and litigation counsel Renny Hwang, who both had some choice words about the U.S. patent system as a whole. In particular, Walker said that Google’s recent victory over Oracle showed that the patent system as a whole badly needs reforming. “The case illustrates the cost when the patent system doesn’t work well,” said Walker. “It costs millions of dollars to invalidate bad patents. [...] There are problems with the quality of the patents being issued, there are problems with the potential for high damages. The patent examination is a one-sided process, without other people in the community weighing in. When you have a system that has holes that can be exploited, people rush into to try to exploit them. People are treating patents like lottery tickets.”
- Finally, although Oracle and Google haven’t been on friendly terms for a while, it would be easy to see Google giving Oracle a slap on the back if it successfully invalidates all of the patents currently held by patent troll du jour Lodsys. For those of who don’t know, Lodsys has sued just about everyone in the tech world over the past couple of years, including Apple developers, Android developers and even big-time gaming companies such as EA and Rovio. Oracle isn’t just counter-suing Lodsys for alleged violations of Oracle-held patents, either: It’s specifically going after Lodsys for patent trolling. “Lodsys did not invent the technology claimed in the Patents-in-Suit,” Oracle said in its suit. “Instead, Lodsys claims to have acquired the Patents-in-Suit from a non-practicing entity, Webvention, LLC, and now seeks to extract royalties by demanding that Oracle’s customers, or Oracle, take a license under the Patents-in-Suit.”