The long-running and complex mobile patent disputes between HTC and Apple took another turn this week, with an ITC judge granting Apple's motion to throw out five of HTC's patents.

Apple's complaint arose from the fact that the patents in question were not originally HTC's, and had been sold to the company by Google only a week before HTC entered its own complaint against Apple last September. Foss Patents reports that International Trade Commission judge Thomas Pender "concluded that HTC failed to acquire all substantial rights in the relevant patents".

The five patents in question include "a method and apparatus for zoomed display of characters entered from a telephone keypad", "a technique allowing a status bar user response on a portable device graphic user interface" and "a dynamic display for communication devices". Foss has the full list and details in a separate article. Interestingly, none of the patents were originally Google's either; each was owned by at least two other companies previously.

The decision can be appealed; and in any case HTC still has three more patents involved ints ITC action against Apple, so the case is sure to continue for some months more.

Google vs Apple

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