updated 07:05 pm EST, Sun January 29, 2012
HTC may run afoul of patent after decision
An examination of a decision in a Chicago court in Apple's lawsuit versus Motorola could see most any Android device face inherent patent violations. Florian Mueller has noticed that Judge Richard Posner interpreted a realtime API (app programming interface) in such a way that Motorola and other Android supporters not only would be infringing on the technology, but wouldn't have an easy way around it. HTC had already been found violating the patent and could now see that definition enshrined in the courts.
The ruling didn't automatically find companies imitating Apple's patents, but it could have a large bearing on at least the Motorola trial. The case is likely to begin in summer and could very quickly lead to Motorola having to either reach a settlement or risk a ban. With Google's acquisition of Motorola currently under review, Google could find itself inheriting a situation where it directly has to pay for Motorola's actions.
Even in relatively distant cases, like Apple's lawsuits against Samsung, the knowledge of possible patent violations could be used as a bargaining chip.
Neither Apple nor other parties involved have commented on the change in patent circumstances.