Android faces another patent attack

Vertical Computer Systems filed suit against Samsung and LG, charging patent infringement in Android phones

Android faces a new threat with a lawsuit that Vertical Computer Systems filed Monday against Samsung and LG.

Vertical alleges that certain Samsung and LG Android-based phones infringe two of its patents that describe systems for generating applications. In the suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Vertical names the LG Ally, four Samsung Galaxy models and Samsung's Galaxy Tab tablet computer as products that use the patented technologies.

In addition to Samsung and LG, the suit also targets Interwoven, a California company that has been acquired by Autonomy, a U.K. enterprise software developer.

Vertical says that it met with Interwoven to discuss use of one of the patents and that it alerted Interwoven about the other patent but that Interwoven has since initiated a lawsuit against Vertical.

Vertical has already had some luck defending one of the patents, Florian Mueller, a software developer and the founder of the NoSoftwarePatents campaign, discovered. In 2008, Microsoft settled a suit Vertical filed, charging infringement of one of the same patents it is using against Samsung and LG. According to an SEC filing that Mueller dug up, Microsoft paid Vertical US$1,533,000 to settle the suit.

Samsung said it does not comment on lawsuits and LG did not reply to a request for comment.

Android continues to come under attack from many different companies. Apple has sued HTC; Microsoft has sued Motorola; Gemalto has sued Google, Motorola, HTC and Samsung; and Oracle is suing Google over Android.

Created by Google, the Android mobile operating system has grown to become the number-two smartphone platform and could become the number one in a few years, according to Gartner.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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