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Submission + - First Smartphone Patent To Target App Developers (blogspot.com)

FlorianMueller writes: "Smartphone patent suits continue to sweep over the land. After getting bad vibes from the ITC on its complaint against Apple, Nokia just filed another suit over seven more patents. In Southern California, a spatial data patent is asserted against RIM, Google and Microsoft. Oddly, the patent holder is represented by the law firm that advises the Open Source Initiative. But the latest smartphone patent suit, filed by a company named H-W Technology L.C., is particularly worrying: among the 32 defendants it names — besides Google, Microsoft and device makers (all of whom are used to getting sued ) — various companies because of their smartphone apps: Amazon.com, eBay, Hotels.com, Expedia, Priceline.com, Orbitz Worldwide, Kayak.com, and Verizon. Those are companies who can defend themselves, but what if patent holders start to go after other app developers who don't have deep pockets? Patent holders may already have begun to demand royalties from developers of commercially successful apps..."

Submission + - Next Android patent suit: Vertical vs. Samsung, LG (blogspot.com)

FlorianMueller writes: Yesterday, Vertical Computer Systems filed a patent infringement suit in Eastern Texas against Android device makers Samsung and LG as well as Internet software company Interwoven. Vertical asserts a patent over which it previously sued Microsoft. That case was settled with a license deal. Earlier this year the USPTO granted Vertical a continuation patent extending the original one by another 32 claims. In an SEC filing, the company already announced its plan to exploit the extended version of the patent aggressively. This is just the latest in a series of suits relating to the Android operating system. Google also has to defend itself directly against Oracle but so far hasn't countersued anyone attacking Android.

Submission + - ITC deals Apple a setback in Nokia patent case (blogspot.com)

FlorianMueller writes: In February, Apple asked the US International Trade Commission to ban the entry of several Nokia products into the US market because of patent infringement. In a pre-trial hearing that started this week, the ITC staff presented an analysis according to which "the evidence will not establish a violation ... as to any of the asserted patents", reports the IDG News Service. However, most media reports don't mention that this relates to only four of the patents Apple asserted against Nokia. The case hit a fork in the road back in April. Nokia's alleged infringement of five other patents now forms part of the case Apple filed against HTC. Even if those four patents turned out invalid (or valid but not infringed), Apple could still prevail over Nokia. Also, not counting the patents the ITC views skeptically, Apple has 24 different patents in play against HTC and Motorola. Android has become a popular target of patent suits.

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