HTC’s legal hand was strengthened by the inclusion of nine more patents from Google

In what smacks of an international card game more than a defense of intellectual property, Google has passed nine patents on to HTC to strengthen their Apple infringement hand. USPTO reports four of the transferred patents came from Motorola, three from Openwave and the remaining two from Palm Inc.

HTC then sued Apple in federal court in Delaware claiming infringement of the Motorola group and amended their complaint with the ITC to include the Openwave and Palm group.

As all of these patents were acquired by Google in the past year, we are now certainly at the point where astute analysts thought we were when smartphone patent wars began:  it’s Apple v. Google.