Despite our fairly light grasp of the law (it’s ok to punch people you don’t like, right?), it makes sense to us that you can’t sue a company over patents you don’t actually own.
Well, it seems HTC had other ideas, and had to be set straight by Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender. But it’s a little more complicated than that. Read on, you heathens!
See, there’s a trend for what FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller describes as “rent-a-patents”, where a company temporarily grabs the related rights, say, for the duration of a court case.
In this case, HTC had acquired the rights to five patents actually owned by Google, however it seems there was some cock-up, and a number of restrictions on the rights allowed Apple to have the patents thrown out.
There are, however, a further three patents being disputed, so the trial continues, albeit with less than half the weight of the original complaint.
For a typically thorough in-depth analysis of the wider implications of the judge’s ruling, head over to FOSS Patents.