Thursday, March 31, 2011

Smartphone Patent Lawsuit Targets Developers In Addition To Apple, Android, Blackberry and Microsoft

Smartphone Patents,
I come back from a small spring break to find a bunch of smatphone related lawsuits. iPhone, Blackberry, Android and Microsoft are all targeted in these suits. Google / Android alone seem to have attracted 38 such lawsuits.
But the latest lawsuit targeting 32 entities is covering developers in addition to hardware and Smartphone OS manufacturers like Google and Apple. Texas-based H-W Technology L.C. filed a complaint in Eastern Texas March 30, 2011, asserting a Patent on an "Internet protocol (IP) phone with search and advertising capability" against 32 legal entities. H-W Technology L.C. claims that the patent covers systems and methods that "allow users of [smartphones] via domain specific applications to receive information and offers from merchants and to complete a transaction with one of said merchants without having to generate a voice call.", which sounds to me like web browsing me who knows next to nothing about law and patents!

This is setting a pathway for patent hoarders as well as real patent holders to go after app developers. USPTO should really be checking these stuff well. At least we can be happy that Florian Mueller is doing the hard work of sorting things out for us.
He has drawn out the main pieces of the complaint (which is supposed to be very large);

  • Google and Microsoft are sued for providing software that is installed on smartphones. With respect to Microsoft, the Windows Phone 7-powered Samsung Focus is mentioned. In Google's case, the Android application store is mentioned.
  • Device makers: specifically named products include the iPhone, the BlackBerry Torch, and five Android devices (LG G2x, Samsung Galaxy S, Motorola Droid X, HTC Thunderbolt, and Kyocera Echo).
  • All of the accused apps are basically mobile online shops:'s, eBay's,'s, Expedia's,'s, Orbitz Worldwide's and's apps, and Verizon's VCast app.
Read more at Florian's blog.


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