The Lines are Drawn: Google Goes Out of Its Way to Back HTC in Apple Lawsuit

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Yesterday, Apple stunned techies by announcing a sweeping patent infringement lawsuit against HTC, the mobile manufacturer that just so happens to make Google’s Nexus One and Android phones. While Apple’s suit accuses a number of HTC-made phones of infringement, including HTC’s Windows Mobile series, Engadget reads the tea leaves and notes that “Android sets are specifically included [in the suit] because they run Android.” HTC said it hadn’t even heard of the suit until it read Apple’s press release and accounts in the tech press. To those who initially saw the lawsuit with HTC as a veiled way for Apple to strike back at Google, the details of the suit, to the extent they were revealed, seemed only to confirm their beliefs.

While Google could have stood aside through all of this, as it was not once named in Apple’s suit it has gone out of its way to issue a statement in support of HTC:

TechCrunch has it:

“We are not a party to this lawsuit. However, we stand behind our Android operating system and the partners who have helped us to develop it.”

It will be interesting — and consequential — to see how this plays out over the coming months: While enough smart tech futurists have foreseen a coming battle between Apple and Google, few would have expected it to come to blows so soon in such a visible, litigious fashion.

Gizmodo has a complete guide to the 20 patents Apple is suing HTC for allegedly infringing, as well as comment from HTC and Google.

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