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Android Hit with Fourth Patent Infringement Suit

The freebie operating system is proving to be quite a little suit magnet

The big Dutch-based smart card shop Gemalto has filed suit in the famed, prosecution-leaning federal court in the Eastern District of Texas against Google and phone makers HTC, Motorola and Samsung charging them and their Android widgetry with patent infringement.

The freebie operating system, which is currently running the most popular smartphones in America, is proving to be quite a little suit magnet. So far Apple has sued HTC, Oracle has sued Google and Microsoft has sued Motorola over Android and all the suits allege IP trespass.

Gemalto, which is big in digital security like the SIMs used in mobile phones, smart bankcards, e-passports, identity credentials and USB tokens, claims Android, its Dalvik virtual machine and associated development tools and products infringe on patented technologies it developed at its R&D operation in Texas in the '90s and used in its pioneering Java Card.

The aggrieved company said in a statement that the technologies are "fundamental to running software, developed in a high-level programming language such as Java, on a resource-constrained device" like a phone and presumably a tablet.

And it claims the IP is essential to its future.

The first Java Card, widely used in SIM and ATM cards, was introduced by Schlumberger's card unit Axalto in 1996 and lets devices be programmed and made application-specific. Axalto merged with Gemplus in 2006 to form Gemalto, now a $2.3 billion company. Sun developed the Java Card Platform and holds the trademark.

Oracle also has a bone to pick with Google over Android's use of the open source Dalvik VM, which is not officially Java-compatible and never will be - Oracle has made that quite clear. Using it has let Google avoid paying proper royalties for the Java Mobile Edition, which is what Oracle claims it should be using for Android, not a subset of Harmony.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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