Following Google's purchase of Motorola Mobility this week, there is a lot of chatter about how Apple can respond when it comes to patents.
First, it will have to respond to HTC, who is suing Apple for patent infringements -- seeking triple damages for "willful infringement" of three of HTC's patents.
Basically, according to HTC, everything Apple does and builds -- iPhone, iPad, Macbook -- infringes on existing HTC patents.
The timing of the countersuit is curious, because Apple and HTC were, apparently, close to settling an existing patent lawsuit, with HTC being wiling to negotiate a settlement.
The U.S. International Trade Commission gave both companies patent wins in July, saying that Apple violated two graphics-related patents held by HTC -- and that HTC violated two Apple patents around data-detection and -transmission.
On July 26, an HTC executive said: "We're open to having discussions."
On Aug. 17, HTC said: Lawsuit!
The patents, specifically, that HTC is suing over are Integrated Interface of PDA and WIreless System, Multipoint Communication and Method for Orderwire Modulation (here's Google's breakdown of that one).
As PatentlyApple saliently points out, either this was a botched negotiation or a stalling tactic, time will tell.