LG Electronics and Samsung are the latest smartphone makers to be pulled into a lawsuit prompted by the uber-successful Google Android operating system.
The handset makers were named as defendants in a Nov. 15 suit filed by Vertical Computer Systems in a U.S. District Court in Texas. The suit accuses LG and Samsung of infringing on two patents related to a "system and method for generating Web sites in an arbitrary object framework." Devices named as specifically infringing are the LG Ally and the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Galaxy Captivate, Galaxy Fascinate, Galaxy Epic, Galaxy Mesmerize and the "i500 touch-screen cell phone."
(The Samsung handsets are similar devices in the Galaxy S line. AT&T offers the Captivate; Verizon the Fascinate; Sprint the Epic and U.S. Celluar the Mesmerize. The i500 is a PDA-meets-clamshell-phone.)
Also named in the suit is software producer Interwoven, which Vertical alleges "willfully" infringed on one of the same patents as LG and Samsung. Additionally, in a meeting between Vertical and Interwoven in 2009, states the suit, "Interwoven intentionally concealed its infringement of the ... patent."
PC World reported that Vertical has had success in past infringement charges - that in 2008, Microsoft settled with Vertical, paying it $1.5 million. The suit was related to one of the same patents it's now saying LG and Samsung are improperly using.
As Android has grown to become the second-largest mobile operating system in just two years, makers of handsets running the OS have increasingly been pulled into legal debates. Apple has sued HTC, maker of the Droid Incredible and Evo 4G, alleging that it's infringing on 20 patents related to the iPhone's interface, architecture and hardware. The iPhone maker has also sued Motorola, maker of the Droid, Droid X and Droid 2, among other devices, for the alleged infringement of six patents related to how users access mobile handsets.
Oracle is also suing Google, the creator of Android, for patent and copyright infringement over Google's use of Java in Android. Additionally, digital security company Gemalto has sued Google, as well as Motorola, HTC and Samsung.
Vertical is requesting that LG, Samsung and Interwomen be made to account for and pay to Veritcal "all damages to and costs incurred by Vertical" and that they be permanently discouraged from similar activity going forward.