The 11 patents that are getting Android partners in trouble

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.