It’s getting crazy out there, with everyone warring with each other over patent infringement. Google is clearly the underdog here, with a much smaller patent portfolio than its opponents – Apple, Microsoft and Oracle. Well, technically, Google is being sued by Oracle, while Microsoft and Apple are going after its Android device partners like HTC and Samsung.
Microsoft and Google have been engaged in a series of arguments over the patent situation since a couple of days.
While Microsoft is making $5 off every Android phone by HTC, Apple wants to completely shut it down in the U.S. It already won an initial ruling against HTC in the case. HTC recently bought S3 Graphics, which had won a ruling in its own patent lawsuit against Apple, which could lead to a partial ban on the import of Macs in the U.S.
HTC certainly thought that it could leverage S3’s lawsuit against Apple to defend itself against Apple’s lawsuit. But apparently, it’s still doubtful whether that will actually help HTC at all.
So, HTC seems to have made another purchase. Yesterday, HTC announced that it had acquired Dashwire, a mobile application company which provides some kind of cloud based cross platform synchronization solution for Android, Symbian, Blackberry and Windows Mobile.
It seems that HTC may have actually bought Dashwire not for its product offering, but for its patent portfolio. Apparently, as reported by BGR, Dashwire had entered into a deal with Intellectual Ventures in April, and acquired patents to use for defensive purposes. If HTC is able to use this patents to defend itself against Apple, it might be a very good deal at under $20 million.
Google’s Android partners are well aware that Google might not be able to defend them. HTC seems to have taken matters into its own hands, while Samsung is trying to do so too, by getting its hands on the InterDigital patents.