Google is heading for a direct showdown with Apple after assisting handset maker HTC fight the iPhone manufacturer by selling it nine patents.
HTC is using the patents in a fresh lawsuit and complaint filed with the US International Trade Commission against Apple, and in an existing complaint to the trade organization. The Taiwanese vendor claims Apple’s iPhone, iPod, iPad, Mac computers, iCloud and iTunes all infringe the patents, which cover wireless software updates and methods to store user preferences.
Google acquired the patents in the past year from Motorola, Openwave and Palm, Bloomberg reports. Its aid to HTC helps address concerns it has done little to assist several Android device makers currently facing Apple litigation, but analysts told the news outlet Google is now more likely to end up in a direct fight with its rival.
HTC's action is the latest in a series of volleys fired in a legal battle with Apple.
Apple first filed an ITC suit against HTC in March 2010, and won a preliminary victory in the case in July this year. The company also made another complaint against HTC that same month.
HTC filed its aforementioned countersuit in May last year.
Google is in the process of acquiring Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion (€9 billion), in a deal that is believed to be largely about acquiring a patent horde to defend Android.