Google Nexus 7 to be included in patent infringement wars targeting Android?

June 29, 2012
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Now that the Google I/O frenzy is coming to an end, we’ll have even more time to talk about the main products announced during the developers conference – the Google Nexus 7 tablet and the new Android 4.1 Jelly Bean mobile operating system update being two of the most important ones.

One of the aspects we’re probably going to hear more about in the near future, especially if the Nexus 7 is going to become the best-selling tablet Google is expecting it to be, is potential patent infringement. Since Google and its Android device-making partners are involved in all sorts of legal clashes based on patents, chances are that Google’s new tablet is already under scrutiny from the main Google rivals.

Foss Patents names companies like Apple, Microsoft and Nokia among the parties that may have some patent claims against Google’s first tablet ever, and explains why each company may be interested in taking the Nexus 7 to court.

Apple

First and foremost, Apple is Google’s main adversary in the mobile business right now. The two have not sued each other directly yet, but ended up facing each other in various courts as Google has recently completed the Motorola purchase. Apple is targeting several Android devices made by Motorola, Samsung and HTC in a complex legal battle fought in various international courts, and some of them are also Nexus-branded – the Galaxy Nexus being one of the most recent additions to Apple’s lawsuits against Samsung. Therefore, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple sue Google over Nexus 7 patent infringement.

Microsoft

Microsoft is also fighting Google on several fronts, from mobile to desktop OS to software and online products. But the two giants are also involved in a series of legal conflicts, again via Motorola. Foss Patents points out that Microsoft may pursue a legal fight against the Nexus 7 in case its license deal with Pegatron doesn’t cover the Nexus 7 – Asus is a Pegatron shareholder. And that’s definitely something we could envision considering the other lawsuits between the two, and more importantly, the fact that Microsoft is not only going to launch its own tablet this year but also a tablet-friendly Windows 8 desktop OS which other OEMs, including Android makers, will use on tablets on their own.

Nokia

Finally, we have Nokia, another giant company in the mobile business, who’s struggling to get back atop of it. Nokia is already suing HTC and ViewSonic, therefore the Nexus 7 would not be the first Android device it targets with its patents. Furthermore, Nokia has already defeated Apple in court, with the latter entering a licensing agreement with the Finnish company for an undisclosed amount of cash.

“Neither Asus [n]or Google is licensed under [Nokia’s] patent portfolio,” according to the company, so legal proceedings against the Nexus 7 are a possibility.

However, it’s worth pointing out though that neither company has sued Google yet, but we’ll definitely be back with more coverage on the matter in case the Nexus 7 does become a target.

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