Heating up the so-called smartphone patent war, HTC has filed two counterclaims against Apple in the Southern District of Florida, claiming that the iPhone-maker has infringed on two HP patents it acquired in December last year.

According to FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller, the litigation in question is a case that started in 2010 with a Motorola lawsuit against Apple, which later became consolidated with another action in the same district. In that case, six of Apple's twelve counterclaims involve both Motorola Mobility and HTC.

The first patent, numbered 7,571,221, covers installation of network services in an embedded network server.

Given below are the details from the abstract:

Various systems and methods are provided for maintaining an embedded network server. In one embodiment, one method includes the steps of providing a dynamic service loader in the embedded network server, receiving a service request to install a dynamic service in the embedded network server, and installing the dynamic service in the embedded network server with the dynamic service loader.

HTC claimed that Apple infringes on this patent with devices including but not limited to personal computers (such as the Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, Mac Mini), mobile communications devices (such as the iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S), and mobile computing devices (such as the iPod Touch, iPad, iPad 2, the new iPad).

The second patent, numbered 7,120,684, is about a method and system for central management of a computer network.

Here are the details from the abstract:

A method and system for central management of plural network clients interfaced with a network host, each network client automatically calling a login routine (20) and a start-up routine (22) associated with initiation of a login script at the network client. Configuration and start-up management can be based upon an operating system determination with several different operating systems, such as Windows 95 and Windows NT, deployed across the network.

In 2002, Texas-based Electronic Data Systems Corporation (EDS) applied for this patent and HP acquired it in 2009. HTC later purchased it from HP along with the '221 patent in December 2011.

The Taiwanese firm claimed that Apple infringes on this patent with Apple Remote Desktop, Apple Profile Manager, and/or products and services that use Apple Remote Desktop and Apple Profile Manager.

HTC recently suffered a major setback at the International Trade Commission, which dismissed five of its patents acquired from Google, which it had used against Apple. As per some publicly-available parts of certain documents, the patent purchase agreement between Google and HTC was more of a patent loan.

I'm sure Apple's lawyers are going to look closely at the HP-HTC agreement, but HP may very well have assigned all right, title and interest in those two patents to HTC (if the price was right), said Mueller.