Android, a Linux based operating system developed by Google in collaboration with Open Handset Alliance (OHA) has been found to infringe about 17 patents of Apple as well as Microsoft. Android OS is basically used in most of the smartphones and tablets. Android OS have been asked to pay for infringing in some cases and in some cases, they have been asked to stop the use of those patents.
17 patents that have been found out to be infringed by Android OS:
1. EP 2059868“Portable electronic device for photo management”
This invention involves a computer-implemented method in which the portable electronic device displays an array of thumbnail images corresponding to a set of photographic images.
On 1st March, 2012, the Munich I Regional Court granted Apple a permanent injunction over this patent against Motorola Mobility, which became a wholly-owned Google subsidiary in May 2012.
2. US. 7,469,381“List scrolling and document translation, scaling, and rotation on a touch-screen display”
In this invention, a computer-implemented method for use in conjunction with a device with a touch screen display is disclosed. In the method, a movement of an object on or near the touch screen display is detected. In response to detecting the movement, an electronic document displayed on the touch screen display is translated in a first direction.
On 13th September, 2012 the Munich I Regional Court ordered a German patent injunction against Google’s Motorola Mobility over this patent.
3. U.S. D618,677“Electronic device”
In this patent, ornamental design of a device is discussed.
On 24th August, 2012, a jury deemed this design patent valid and infringed by 11 Samsung smartphones (mostly Galaxy devices). Apple is pursuing a permanent injunction on that basis.
4. U.S. 5,946,647“System and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data”
This is ‘data tapping’ patent.
The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) deemed this patent valid and infringed in a 19th December, 2011 order of a U.S. import ban against HTC.
5. EP 1964022“Unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image”
In this patent a method is shown where the device is unlocked if contact with the display corresponds to a predefined gesture for unlocking the device.
On 16th February, 2012, the Munich I Regional Court granted Apple an injunction over this patent against Motorola Mobility.
6. U.S. 6,370,566“Generating meeting requests and group scheduling from a mobile device”
The present invention includes a mobile device which provides the user with the ability to schedule a meeting request from the mobile device itself.
On 18th May, 2012, the ITC ordered a U.S. import ban against Motorola’s Android-based devices that infringe this Microsoft patent.
7. EP1304891“Communicating multi-part messages between cellular devices using a standardized interface”
This patent deals with fragmentation and reassembly of a multi-part message for communication over a cellular network.
On 24th May, 2012, the Munich I Regional Court granted Microsoft an injunction over this patent against Motorola’s Android-based devices.
8. U.S. D504,889“Electronic device”
This one also involves ornamental design of a device.
On 27th June, 2012, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California granted Apple a preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 following a partly-successful appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
9. U.S. 8,086,604“Universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system”
This is a patent on Siri-style unified search.
On 29th June, 2012, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California granted Apple a preliminary injunction against the Samsung/Google Galaxy Nexus smart phone over this patent.
10. U.S. 8,046,721“Unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image”
In this a method of unlocking a device via gestures performed on the touch-sensitive display is given.
The United States District Court for the Northern District of California deemed Samsung and Google to infringe on this patent, which it considered valid.
11. U.S. 8,074,172“Method, system, and graphical user interface for providing word recommendations”
This is an autocorrect patent, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California deemed Samsung and Google to infringe on this patent, which it considered valid.
12. EP0618540“Common name space for long and short filenames”
In this patent there is an operating system that provides a common name space for both long filenames and short filenames.
On 27th July, 2012 the Mannheim Regional Court granted Microsoft a German patent injunction against Google’s Motorola Mobility over this file system patent.
13. U.S. D539,087“Electronic device”
Another ornamental design patent
On 24th August 2012, the California jury found it valid and also infringed.
14. U.S. 7,844,915“Application programming interfaces for scrolling operations”
This is a patent by Apple Company which deals with pinch to zoom technology.
On 24th August, 2012 the California jury found 21 Samsung Android devices to infringe this patent, which it also deemed valid.
15. U.S. 7,864,163“Portable electronic device, method, and graphical user interface for displaying structured electronic documents”
This one is the tap to zoom patent by Apple.
On 24th August, 2012 the California jury found this Apple “tap-to-zoom” patent valid and infringed by 16 Samsung Android devices.
16. U.S. D604,305“Graphical user interface for a display screen or portion thereof”
This patent deals with the ornamental design for a graphical user interface for a display screen or portion.
On 24th August, 2012 the California jury found 13 Samsung devices to infringe this patent, and deemed it valid.
17. EP1040406“Soft input panel system and method”
This is the operating system patent by Microsoft.
On 20th September, 2012 the Munich I Regional Court granted Microsoft a German patent injunction against Google’s Motorola Mobility over this operating system patent. (Microsoft wins case from Google).
From the list shown above it can be easily known that 13 of these patents are of Apple Inc. And other 4 of these patents are of Microsoft Corp. This shows that there was an ample infringement by Google’s Android OS of Apple’s and Microsoft’s patents.
In recent past, there has been an increase in the filing of lawsuits in infringement cases by major corporations. All corporations want their share from the infringers. Its good to file lawsuits if the company finds out infringement but these lawsuits shouldn’t be on the condition that innovations are hampered. Innovations are hampered because when big firms are involved in big infringement cases than in the end, one have to pay a large amount of compensation that leads to hampering innovations because companies doesn’t pay innovators well after that and thus less people are interested in entering research field.
Infringement cases have been on rise in the year 2012, Korean giant Samsung had been asked to pay a huge amount of $1.05 billion to its counter-part rival Apple. Also a lot of other cases have been filed for infringement by other corporations too; the result of those is awaited. Android Os is involved in many other infringement lawsuits.