The lawsuit was filed on 22 October in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, accusing the Android advocates of using Gemalto’s patented Java Card technology, which allows software to be written in Java and other programming languages so that they will work on mobile phones.
The Java Card patents were developed and filed in the 1990s, but exactly why it has taken until now to bring this matter to court, considering Android has been out since 2008, remains to be seen. It is not clear if Gemalto wants the infringing product removed altogether or wants financial remuneration, but the language used by the company suggests the latter.
“This lawsuit is necessary to protect our investment in innovation,” a Gemalto spokesperson said in a statement. “The technologies we develop and associated intellectual property rights are essential to Gemalto’s future. It is our commitment to our employees, customers, partners, and shareholders to protect those innovations from companies who ignore Gemalto’s intellectual property rights.”
Gemalto has been doing well this year, posting its third quarter results just last week, which showed a 25 percent increase from €401 million ($563 million) in 2009 to €500 million ($702 million) in 2010. Total revenue for the first three quarters of the year totalled €1.3 billion ($1.8 billion), up from €1.2 billion ($1.7 billion) for the same period in 2009.
Gemalto indicated it would “have no further comment on this ongoing legal matter”.