When Apple filed suit against HTC Tuesday for infringing patents Apple owns on technology used in the iPhone, it wasn't clear which particular HTC devices were at issue in the case. Observers surmised the Google/HTC collaborative effort known as Nexus One was somewhere in the mix, but Google isn't named in the suit.
Thursday, CNET News writer Marguerite Wilson suggests that in suing HTC, Apple is sending a message to all companies that manufacture iPhone-like devices to be on their guard because they could be next. Apple chose HTC, she says, because it could get what it needed (the example) from HTC without going after the big guys, like Google and Microsoft.
It makes sense, to a point. But Apple is Apple. It's not like the company can't afford the time or the money to go after Google directly. In fact, that's what Engadget's Nilay Patel argues Apple is doing: Directly attacking Google via the HTC lawsuit. Patel says:
Apple's complaint with the International Trade Commission makes an explicit distinction between HTC's Android devices and its WinMo phones..., and the Android sets are repeatedly called out for infringing certain patents.
I'd have to agree.