updated 05:05 pm EST, Mon January 23, 2012
Apple gaining little for anti-Android campaign?
Apple has spent about $100 million in legal fees trying to prosecute just its first set of patent claims against HTC, a rumor suggests. The information is potentially inaccurate, coming from a person "close to the situation" citing "a rumor going around among the lawyers," according to Newsweek columnist Dan Lyons. Apple's initial volley against HTC, in Feburary 2010, did however consist of 84 claims, linked to 10 patents, shrinking down to four patents by the time the case reached a judge.
One of the patents was ruled invalid by the US International Trade Commission because of prior art, and for two others HTC was judged in the clear. Apple's one victory, related to a pop-up menu for phone numbers in email or webpages, may be easy for HTC to circumvent. Another ITC complaint is pending against HTC, but a ruling could happen as late as March 2013. In both circumstances, lawsuits filed with US District Courts have been awaiting ITC decisions.
HTC has two ITC complaints pending against Apple, of which one will be decided in February, the other in April 2013. Apple is also embroiled in any number of other suits and countersuits with companies such as Samsung and Motorola, which together could push Apple's patent-related legal bills into the realm of several hundred million dollars.
Apple is believed to be using the courts as a weapon against Google' Android platform, trying to slow if not halt its advance. Steve Jobs is known to have called Android "stolen," and promised to "destroy" the operating system, spending all of Apple's cash reserves if necessary. The Apple co-founder's death has not put an end to any cases so far, although it's thought that both Apple and its opponents will eventually settle.