The Android platform is under attack from a number of companies — not just Apple. Microsoft, for example, has forced several Android partners into licensing agreements due to patent infringements.

And between these settlements, and Apple’s recent legal hot streak against Samsung, there’s no denying that Google is guilty of illegally copying something from somewhere. But the question is, what?

Intelectual Property expert Florian Mueller recently put together a list of 11 patents (from both Apple and Microsoft) that Android has been found to be guilty of infringing upon:

  • Patent EP2059868 – covers “a portable electronic device for photo management.” Basically it’s the photo gallery page-flipping feature in iOS.
  • U.S. Patent No. 7,469,381 – covers “list scrolling and document translation, scaling, and rotation on a touch-screen display.” This is what gives scrolling in iOS that rubberband-like bounce.
  • U.S. Design Patent No. D618,677 – this is an iPhone design-related patent.
  • U.S. Patent No. 5,946,647 – involves “a system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data.” This covers the ability in iOS to open the Mail or Phone app by tapping an email address or phone number.
  • EP1964022 – “unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image.” One of Apple’s slide-to-unlock patents.
  • U.S. Patent No. 6,370, 566 – “generating meeting requests and group scheduling from a mobile device.” Microsoft.
  • EP1304891 – “communicating multi-part messages between cellular devices using a standardized interface.” Microsoft.
  • U.S. Design Patent No. D504,889 – an iPad-related patent
  • U.S. Patent No. 8,086, 604 – covers a “universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system.” Essentially, this covers Siri and other unified searches.
  • U.S. Patent No. 8,046,721 – “unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image.” Another slide-to-unlock patent.
  • U.S. patent No. 8,074,172 – “a method, system, and graphical user interface for providing word recommendations.” Otherwise known as autocorrect.

This was just a brief rundown of the 11 patents. FOSS Patents has a much more in-depth analysis of each one, plus links to each patent, if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

At any rate, it’s interesting to see the inventions that have multiple billion dollar tech companies fighting around the world. It’s hard to to believe that these things are causing so many problems.


  • jose castro

    lol android……………………

  • This is getting ridiculously stupid.

    • jose castro

      anyway to get there money and the property lol….

    • It’s stupid that Google copied certain features that were patented to prevent theft. I don’t think it’s stupid that others go after them. If they blatantly rip off Apple or MS, who is going to stop others? That’s the points of these patents.

      • Manuel Molina

        All companies copy. PERIOD. It’s business. Nintendo – Wii Motion Controllers. Playstation – PS Move Motion Controllers. Nintendo – Wii Fitness Board. Microsoft – Kinect. Nintendo isn’t going crazy with lawsuits now, are they?

      • if you owned a business and your intellectual property was protected and your competitor stole that intellectual property you would be mad as hell and you would be going after them. it’s what your business is making an income from and how you are feeding and clothing yourself. if you disagree with this then you are a liar, plain and simple.

        a company can not be wrong for defending their intellectual property. there are many different ways to do things but google was just lazy and decided to steal instead…as did samsung and htc.

        If nintendo’s patents were infringed upon then you can be guaranteed they would sue, as would any other company. if the shoe was on the other foot you bet your ass samsung and google would go after apple.

      • they cant sue what they didn’t patent. move camera or kinect are way out of similarities compared to their control. they copied the right way, integrating different technology

      • exactly

      • Pierre Gardin

        Infringing patents doesn’t equate blatantly rip-off. If I had to design a messaging app, I would split SMS’s so they would fit the character limit, unknowingly infringing Microsoft’s patent.
        As for the iPad design, how else would you design a tablet? Triangle-shaped?

  • Serves them right since there copying it and putting it on there platform

  • Charles Valdez

    This is just stupid.

    • Manuel Molina

      Agree. Just sayin but, is everything on iOS completely original and made from the ground up? I don’t believe so, and mind you, for the Apple fanboys out there, I’m on iPhone user.

      • jose castro

        well they did take ideas from the jailbreaking community,

      • Manuel Molina

        Everything that’s on iOS 5 looks a lot like a complete copy of Cydia; notifications center, individual call deleting, Face Time on 3G (coming to iOS 6 now after it was removed from iOS 5’s final version); the spell check like Inspell… just to name a few.

        I’m surprised Saurik and the developers are not screaming “PATENT” like a lot of these companies. The point being is this: something is going to come from somewhere, and not all ideas are original. If you think the iOS idea is completely ground breaking and nothing was taken from it to make that, then I don’t know what to tell you but continue being a fanboy.

      • FaceTime on 3G is not a jailbreak tweak thats been copied from Cydia.. UK network 3 had this 7/9 years ago.. So is 3 going to go after Apple ?

      • Manuel Molina

        Face palm. It was a point, not something to be exact on since duh, other companies had video calling before FaceTime. The point was Apple taking from Cydia, not others. Do people really love to sit by the computer and point out comments to waste their time since they have nothing to do at their 9 to 5?

      • not all posters are in the US…
        Why do most US poster think this ?

      • jose castro

        o turst me i know lol… and not a fanboy………… just like jailbreaking….

  • When you steal, you will eventually get caught and exposed!

  • Most of these EVERY single computing device uses. How can something that is essential to a computer/smartphone be copyrighted? Seriously, this is getting beyond stupid, it’s getting ridiculous.

    • You license the rights. That’s how. Why do you think 6 companies (Google, Rim, Apple etc) paid 5.6 billion for Nortels patents? Because if they wanted to get into LTE they had to either buy them or license the usage.

      • My argument is why should things that everything uses have to be licensed? 3G had to be licensed, LTE had to be licensed, DVD codecs have to be licensed in the US. To me it’s just stupid that things that every phone uses have to be patented and licensed. I can see designed being patented, but the technologies they all need to compete?

  • daslive

    Go Apple!!!!

  • Why isn’t apple putting the touchscreen heat patent into action ? If it would all android phones would suck.

  • EduleanFafsfs Fcundo

    Fucking Google, and now Android and samsung are planning to do sonething against apple after they only keep copying them? They’re ridiculous. I can’t believe Google is playing that gane too with samsung. They really dont need it.

  • Everyone who says “this is too simple to patent, it’s obvious!”. Let me tell you, before the iPhone, what phone had a touch screen based phone with these patents on this page? NONE. Go watch the original iPhone keynote on youtube. These simple features, like slide to unlock, they garnered most of the audience in OOHs and AHHs, as if it was a brand new technology. And indeed, it was new. But, because these patents were not until recently granted, several companies took these patents because it was not yet illegal to use them. Now, they are illegal, and Apple and Microsoft wants these companies to STOP USING THEM.

    • David Villamizar

      But as you yourself said, it wasn’t illegal to use them then, so it’s kind of unfair that after the affected companies invested millions developing this technologies in their OSs, they suddenly get a patent and expect them to change what is already done, also the iPhone and iPad designs are too basic to get patented, I don’t think no one should have the right to say “I invented the square so no one else can use it!”

      • But, Android did know that those patents had the possibility of being granted, they weren’t unaware. Honestly it is a bad business move to base you’re entire OS on something you’re not sure you even have the rights to. And yes, i do not agree with these hardware patents. As you said, a square is a square, no one can own that. I’m just tired of the people arguing about the software being obvious. 🙂

      • Ajai Khattri

        You could say the same thing about Apple: it was granted patents on things that other companies had already demonstrated. So the pot is calling the kettle black.

    • FrankensteinBlack

      “what phone had a touch screen based phone with these patents on this page” LG Prada! Which preceded the first iPhone. I know because I tested it way back and it had at least 5 of those above on board. LG was just to dopey and didn’t patent which allowed Steve and some Apple engineers (who saw early LG beta) to copy and patent…

      • Their fault they didn’t patent it. 😛 Seriously though, it is.

      • Pierre Gardin

        Seriously though, Apple did rip LG off.

    • Ajai Khattri

      Actually not true there is some prior art for a lot of these things. The “bounce effect” when hitting the end of a scrolling list? Been done already. Inertial scrolling? Also done already by (of all people) Sun. Half of these patents probably should not have been granted in the first place…

  • So basically they’re in trouble for all the ideas they implemented first but lost out on the patents for. How anyone can patent hyperlinks and a rectangle is beyond me.
    Hopefully Google will give Apple a good slap of common sense in this lawsuit

    • “hyperlinks”
      Read post above and rethink what you just said.

  • thumbs up for devs .

  • What makes me laugh is how all the brainwashed Apple fans actually think Apple came up with all these ideas when in reality, the invented none. Every idea was stolen from Jailbreak community, Google, Samsung, Microsoft and countless other companies. Apple just patented it, they patented the hyperlink ffs! At least Google are being grown up about it. They’re no scared of competition and if they have breached they’re happy to sort it

    • How do you support that they stole swipe to unlock from the JB community?

    • they can’t steal things from the JB community when these things are the foundation of the iPhone and were patented before the iPhone was even released…hence long before the JB community existed. grabs ears and remove head from sphincter. thank you.

  • Yan Kar

    they need to modify patents, it’s horrible.
    It’s been ages and years when you click on email address in windows and it opens mail client.
    Now there is a patent from apple for mobile devices for that…. they stole the idea, apply to phone and patented? screw them.

    • Those are hyperlinks though, and preceded by A protocol header that tells it that it’s an email link. Those are Not a service that scans your content and offers action based methods based on a best guess at what the content contains. When someone emails you an address, they would have to build the hyperlink themselves otherwise. iOS finds these and creates the actions on the fly without the required protocol anchor tags.

  • This is just an attempt from Apple (and Microsoft) to keep its market share by keeping Android phones out of the market. A lot of these patents are ridiculous, slide to unlock is a patent on a touch screen? I mean Android can be more creative, but Apple is acting like the asshole smart kid in school who tells on the kid who copies an answer

  • Come on Google, are you kiding me? You could have “google” what patent Apple and the rest have thus avoiding trouble in the future… I mean, you ARE the biggest search site in the world + the expert Florian Mueller and others before, should have given you a clue a long time ago what to avoid… Who knows, if you did, maybe Android OS would have more original innovations, rather than the already half-Hartley developed software…

  • Chris Payne

    apple rule!! everything about about android is ripped of from iPhone’s.
    apple need to protect themselves, all the other manufacturers and basically replicating iPhone’s and iPad’s. i own an iPhone and iPad and will never buy anything other than apple.

    apple 4 life, fucking ya wife ; )

    • what about notification center?

    • And this is a apple fan boy true and blue. I can feel the intelligence seep out of his words…

  • Honestly these patents looks very ridicules and stupid

  • Damn apple greedy little b****s and other Commpanys need to grow up like stop acting like children sirously there not hurting other Commpanys there hurting the customers no customers not Commpanys so they should think before they act

  • So many people preaching “Go Apple!” Why? I had a 3GS for a year then a 4 for 2 years and finally moved on to a Galaxy S3. When did I make that decision? Right when they announced iOS 6. What innovation? Squares everywhere. Holding your hand through the process of using your phone. “This app is new, let’s put a label on it so people don’t forget.” Seriously? Have any of the people cheering “Apple” actually used a recent Android device for longer than 10 minutes? This company is so scared of competition because they spec bump every year to keep you in their army. It takes them years to catch up in hardware. I didn’t like early versions of Android myself, but that all changed. When I look at my GS3 and my iPhone 4 next to each other I literally sigh at the iPhone 4. It’s so boring. I still love Apple products I am just sick of their iPhone. I have a new MacBook Pro w/retina on the way.