Google, moving into the smartphone battles, has allied with Taiwan's HTC in battling Apple over alleged patent infringement.
Last month, Google said it assigned nine of its current patents to HTC, which the company used as the basis for fresh lawsuits against Apple in U.S. courts this week. Apple has sued HTC alleging the Taiwanese maker stole its intellectual property. HTC sued Apple in federal court in Delaware.
None of the patents is held by Motorola Mobility, the smartphone maker Google agreed to acquire last month for $12.5 billion. Google CEO Larry Page said one of the motivations behind that deal is to acquire Motorola's 17,000 patents.
Google's new activity could indicate a bigger effort to bolster its Android OS on smartphones, which battles Apple's iOS on iPhones. Apple has also taken aggressive action against Korea's Samsung Electronics, which is also one of its major suppliers.
In Germany, Apple has won a temporary ban on Samsung's sales of its Galaxy Tab line after alleging its patents were stolen for that product. A hearing is scheduled on Friday.
Google, based in Mountain View, Calif., said two of the patents assigned to HTC came from Palm, now a part of HP; three from Openwave Systems and four from Motorola. All had been acquired over the past year, according to filings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Not be left out, Openwave filed claims with the U.S. International Trade Commission last week charging Apple and Research in Motion had stolen its IP. It also sued Apple and RIM in federal court in Delaware. The Redwood City, Calif.-based developer alleged Apple and RIM had infringed upon its patents for e-mail, cloud computing and seamless navigation through pages on the Internet. Efforts to reach royalty deals failed, Openwave said.
Google shares rose 41 cents to $534.34 and Apple's rose 17 cents to $384.10 in early Thursday trading.