The owners of Nortel's former patents have sued Google and seven makers of Android-based smartphones, alleging patent violations related to Internet search technology. The patent owners -- Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson and Sony -- named handset-makers including Samsung Electronics and HTC in the suit. "Despite losing in its attempt to acquire the patents-in-suit at auction, Google has infringed and continues to infringe," the suit alleges.
Smartphone-makers are facing more litigation over alleged patent violations. NTP, which forged a $600 million settlement with Research in Motion, on Thursday sued six more companies in federal court -- Apple, Google, Microsoft, HTC, LG Electronics and Motorola -- alleging that e-mail systems on their handsets violate the company's patents. Also, the U.S. International Trade Commission has begun an inquiry into complaints from FlashPoint Technology against RIM, LG, Nokia and HTC over patents covering digital cameras.
The U.S. shed 250,000 technology jobs in 2009, although the unemployment rate was 5.2% among programmers and 6.1% among computer scientists, which is far lower than the 9.3% overall unemployment average.
Shane Robison, Hewlett-Packard's chief strategy officer and chief technology officer, says Palm's hardware is cool, but really, the acquisition "is about the webOS and app development kits and the app space that they're building up. It gives us a chance to really grow in a market that, standalone, is more than $120 billion and has grown 20% annually." HP does not initially plan to license the webOS platform, he said.