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Apple's patent attack

Mar 12, 2010, 19:02 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jonathan Corbet)

"Software patents have long been the source of a great deal of concern in the free software community; patents are by far the biggest restraint on our ability to program our own computers. Those who worry about these things have expected that attacks might come from patent trolls, or from software companies with fading prospects. Apple's lawsuit against HTC shows that the real threat may come from a different direction.

"HTC is not normally thought of as a Linux company; it is a Taiwanese manufacturer which provides cellular phone handsets to a number of other companies. HTC has only recently begun promoting phones under its own name; as it happens, a number of those run Android. Since Android increasingly looks like the base for some of the strongest competition against Apple's products, this suit certainly has the look of an attack against Android and not just an action against one hardware manufacturer. Indeed, Android is named specifically in both components to the attack.

"There are some 20 patents named in Apple's actions. Ten of them are named in the patent infringement suit filed in Delaware:"

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