Gemalto sues Google, others over Android

Mon, 10/25/2010 - 8:10am
Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week

Gemalto has slapped Google, HTC, Samsung and Motorola with a lawsuit alleging the companies' use of the Android operating system violates three of its patents.

The digital security firm claims Android's software development kit uses its patented Java Card technology and Dalvik virtual machine without permission. Gemalto wants the court to ban the companies from manufacturing, selling and importing Android apps and devices, as well as the platform's software development kit.

"This lawsuit is necessary to protect our investment in innovation," an unnamed Gemalto spokesman said. "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."

In a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Gemalto claims it has been "irreparably harmed" by the "willful" infringement of three patents used in Google's Android operating system. The company says the patented technologies covered by the lawsuit were developed in the 1990s at Gemalto's research and development facilities in Texas.

Samsung declined to comment on the suit. Neither HTC, Motorola nor Google replied to requests for comment by press time.

Gemalto's Dalvik virtual machine allows applications to run on "resource-constrained" devices like smartphones, which have less computing and memory power than desktop computers. Gemalto claims Google designed the Dalvik-based virtual machine in Android using Gemalto's Java Card technology without its permission. Java Card is allegedly used to develop a variety of Android apps, including Google Voice, Google Maps and Gmail.

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