Now that Apple's lawsuit against HTC is all of six hours or so old, it's time to reflect at what exactly has happened. And we can sum it up in the following sentence: Apple has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against HTC.
Really, that's it at this point. You can still go out and buy the myTouch 3G. Or buy the Nexus One from Google. HTC is still shipping phones from Asia. Steve Jobs isn't going from home to home, collecting contraband. (Yet.) That's going to take an order from a judge. It's not out of the question, it's just that we haven't reach that point yet.
What has happened is the first step (we really don't like the "shots-fired" metaphor) in what's likely to be a long and winding legal battle, if only because we're talking patents -- not exactly something you see in an hour-long "Law and Order" episode, huh? And do remember that just because Apple filed a lawsuit, it doesn't mean that HTC has been found to have infringed on any patents.
There's more excellent analysis out there now.
- Engadget's Nilay Patel went through the disputed patents -- some old, and some very new -- and how each pertains to the HTC lawsuit. Also, he notes how really the lawsuit focuses on Android (despite the suit's inclusion of a number of Windows Mobile phones).
- Gizmodo's Jesus Diaz speculates that this really is a spat between Apple and Google, with HTC caught in the middle. (Though it's important to remember that Google's not explicitly named in this suit.)
- Our own Dieter Bohn questions whether Palm should worry.
As for us? We're going about our business. But we're going to be watching this suit for any signs of movement, and we're keeping one eye on Motorola, which would find itself in the same legal boat before long. Or not. We just don't know. Either way, stay tuned, folks.