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March 11, 2010


Kyle Fleming


Another nice post. I don't think I am a PTO data nerd (although denial may be a sign that I am). Anyway, just FYI for you and your readers, the AN/ search only retrieves assignee at issuance information. Some companies actually like to keep the assignment quiet until after issuance just to keep folks a little in the dark.

Kyle Fleming

I forgot to add that you can search for all assignments, including after issuance, that are recorded at the PTO:

Joe Mullin

Thanks Kyle, I didn't know that and it's a good thing to keep in mind. Part of the reason I included my search methodology is because I knew I'd have readers like you who know these databases best and could make helpful suggestions.

I have used the assignments database many times... But my understanding is that there's no requirement for patent holders to register assignments there either, right? (though clearly they often do)

Steve Sereboff

"Another nice post."

"there's no requirement for patent holders to register assignments there either"


I think the next step will be to see if OIN will get involved into this case.

The did so in the TomTom vs. Microsoft case and they would be the perfect vehicle to fight a proxy war for Google.

OIN is pretty secretive about who is a member of OIN and who isn't and they still haven't added Google to there members list two years after it officially joined OIN and I wouldn't wonder if HTC is already a member of OIN or will be on it's member list pretty soon.



HTC's corporate (legal) name until recently was "High Tech Computer Corporation." Did you search for patents assigned to this name?



A disappointing article in one respect. The "stunningly low number" of HTC patents you report was the result of not realizing that HTC's corporate name used to be "High Tech Computer" before it was shortened to HTC. I am surprised you missed that, Joe, since both the district court and ITC complaints filed by Apple refer to HTC as as "High Tech Computer Corp. a/k/a HTC Corp."

A search of the USPTO database (using the string AN/"High Tech Computer") reveals 108 issued patents.

Joe Mullin

Anon and anon,

Thanks for your comments. I wasn't aware of HTC Corp.'s previous name (though I should have caught it from the complaint) and I am updating the post with the additional patents that a search for "High Tech Computer" shows. Like the searcher above, I found 108 patents, 77 of which were utility patents.

I don't think it changes the accuracy of the overall thesis, which wasn't just based on my patent search; it was also based on interviews with patent practitioners who told me their opinion of the HTC portfolio.

But I did change the patent count and some of my wording in the relevant section, with the changes marked. Thanks for helping make this more accurate.


Hi Joe, this is the second "anon" poster above. I agree that the overall point of your article isn't significantly affected by the actual patent count. But one of the best things about this Internet medium is the ability, in the hands of a good journalist like you, to adjust things on-the-fly to make them more accurate.


Apple is very aggressive in asserting its IP. It has filed several suits as a plaintiff over the years.

Mallika, Choir de Law Pvt. Ltd.

Apple has been at the forefront for its IP rights. To keep its edge in the market this patent suit has come up.

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