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HTC countersues Apple over HP embedded server and network patents

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HTC claims that Apple is infringing on two of its patents, one covering network services in embedded servers and the other concerning a system for network management.

HTC logo
HTC logo

HTC has filed two counterclaims in ongoing litigation with Apple in the Southern District of Florida, claiming that the Cupertino-based hardware giant is infringing on patents acquired from Hewlett-Packard (HP) in December. The first patent, numbered 7,571,221, covers "installation of network services in an embedded network server," which HTC claims Apple uses in pretty much its entire line of desktop and laptop computers, phones, tablets, and music devices. The second, 7,120,684, concerns a "method and system for central management of a computer network," allegedly used in Apple Remote Desktop and Apple Profile Manager.

HTC was recently dealt a blow by the International Trade Commission, which dismissed five patents being used against Apple due to "lack of standing" — the intellectual property had been transferred to HTC from Google in a fairly transparent attempt to shore up the Android OEM against Apple's attacks. As Florian Müller notes, "Apple's lawyers are going to look closely at the HTC-HP agreement," but the companies may well have taken proper steps to transfer ownership in this case. Either way, HTC is looking increasingly desperate to find any sort of shield in the ongoing case.