Digital security company Gemalto became the latest player to join the handset patent wars, filing a infringement suit in the US against Google, HTC, Motorola and Samsung. As with Oracle’s lawsuit against Google, the dispute is about the use of Java in the Android platform, Dalvik virtual machine, and associated development tools and products. Gemalto says the patented technologies were developed at its research facilities in the 1990s, and “are fundamental to running software, developed in a high-level programming language such as Java, on a resource constrained device.”
Separately, Taiwanese publication DigiTimes said that Microsoft is looking for royalties from Taiwan-based equipment vendors, for the use of its patents in devices powered by Android. It was suggested that it is following this path in order to make Android and Chrome, Google’s other device platform, look less appealing, because of the need to still pay Microsoft licensing fees. Microsoft is reported to be targeting Acer and Asustek, with fellow Taiwanese vendor HTC already having a deal in place. Focus Taiwan, however, says that Asustek has “cautiously clarified” that it has received a demand from Microsoft, while Acer is not commenting on the speculation.
Google is already involved with a wide-ranging dispute with Oracle over the use of Java in Android, with Google having accused Oracle of hypocrisy in its official response to the suit. Microsoft has also launched an Android-related suit against Motorola, alleging that a number of features supported by handsets from the recovering vendor infringe Microsoft patents. A number of other patent actions are also underway in the handset market, not least Nokia’s wide ranging dispute with Apple, which has seen a number of complaints made to a number of courts internationally.