Hybrid Audio extends lawsuit to more Android devices

Google’s Android is the target for an increasing amount of patent suits, most recently with an expansion of an existing lawsuit by Hybrid Audio LLC.

Just after it was revealed that Samsung has been labelled a copycat by Apple, Hybrid Audio has extended an existing dispute to take in a number of other Android users including Motorola and Samsung products.

The patent suit, which initially targeted HTC and Dell devices, now takes in Motorola’s Xoom, Atrix, Droid 2 and Droid X; Nokia’s 5610 XpressMusic, 6650, 6133, 5310 XpressMusic, E7, and 6275i; and RIM’s range of BlackBerry’s.

A number of Samsung products are cited which, while they are not Android based, could mean that other products using the operating system could be targeted if the lawsuit is successful.

The patent, RE 40,281, described as a “signal processing utilizing a tree-structured array” was originally put to an Eastern District of Texas Court back in December of 2010, though there had been no response from the defendants.

Now a new suit has been filed which takes in a wider range of companies and comes as a further fly in the ointment to device manufacturers using the Google OS.

According to intellectual property expert Florian Mueller, this is symptomatic of Google’s “unrealistic” approach to the management of its patent with regards to those using its Android OS.

Unlike Microsoft, which enters into licensing agreements with manufacturers whereby any patents disputes will be dealt with and solved by the firm itself, Google has so far taken a very different stance with licensing deals.

“It leaves device makers vulnerable to patent suits as Google offers no warranty for such situations,” Mueller says, speaking to TechEye.

“Google should take much more responsibility to stop device makers constantly getting sued, and should be taking part in sharing cost.”

But as long as Google continues to keep passing on the problems to manufactures by not targeting the root cause of the problem, which Mueller believes is Google’s own approach to patents, the Android OS seems likely to continue attracting further lawsuits.