Some people see the glass half-empty. Others see it half-full. The case of Apple v HTC over Android/Linux is 80% empty and on shaky ground IMHO.
Apple charged HTC with violating 10 patents and the initial decision is that 2 were infringed… Imagine a citizen claiming a neighbour stole his 10 Rolls-Royces and the police notice that the complainant only owned 2… That would result in charges of mischief against the complainant where I come from. The two remaining patents are really shaky and also at issue in Apple v Samsung.
I don’t see the ITC blocking importation due to such fuzzy patents and I expect HTC will get the patents re-examined or otherwise disembowelled to clear the air.
This is yet another software patent that should never have seen the light of day. It attempts to cover just about any general-purpose computer that interacts with data. What were the patent-examiners thinking? There’s even a flow-chart which looks like something I would teach in Grade 10 programming classes. System and Method for Performing an Action on a Structure in Computer-generated Data… sigh. Does anyone think there’s a valid, non-obvious patent in there?
Here’s another: Real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data. Oh, the horror! People have been doing that since when, 1969 when folks went to Moon and before when they were practising. The invention is supposed to be some kind of improvement over the 1960s modem by providing a layer of abstraction. Sounds like an idea to me, something not patentable.
If this is what Apple’s case rests upon, I expect HTC’s appeal will be a resounding success. I expect the minor victory Apple achieved was due to a snow job. Further review will be enlightening for the lawyers involved.
UPDATE There’s a more detailed analysis at DailyTech.