Google's Dalvik virtual machine, which runs Java applications in Android phones, is under fire again, this time in a lawsuit filed by Gemalto.
Gemalto, which makes smart cards and SIM card security technologies, sued Google, Motorola, HTC and Samsung in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on Friday. Gemalto alleges that Dalvik uses Gemalto's Java Card technology, which lets Java applications run on smart cards.
Gemalto also says Google offers applications that use its Java Card Technology to device makers. Such applications include Google Talk, Google Maps, Google Voice, Google Calendar, Gmail, Google Finance, Google Contacts and Google Shopper.
Motorola, HTC and Samsung are named in the suit for selling phones that run the Android operating system and Android applications that allegedly infringe on patented technologies in Gemalto's Java Card Technology.
Gemalto, which seeks a jury trial, cites three patents that it alleges the companies infringe, including one that was challenged by Sun Microsystems but upheld by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Motorola and Samsung did not immediately reply to requests for comment about the suit. Google said it hadn't received the complaint so it didn't have any comment. HTC couldn't be reached.
It's the latest in a string of legal actions aimed at the fast-growing Android mobile platform. Microsoft has sued Motorola and Apple has sued HTC over their Android phones. Oracle has sued Google over the way that Android handles Java in the Dalvik virtual machine.
The suits highlight the threat that Android poses. In the second quarter it overtook both Research In Motion and Apple to become the number-one smartphone operating system in the U.S., according to Gartner. It became the third-most-popular smartphone OS worldwide, behind number-one Symbian and RIM, Gartner said.