Google responds to Apple's HTC lawsuit: 'We stand behind our Android operating system'

We were wondering when Google would have something to say about Apple's patent lawsuit against HTC, since the majority of the claims appear to implicate Android itself, and while the knives aren't out yet, we just got a short-but-sweet statement from a spokesperson:

"We are not a party to this lawsuit. However, we stand behind our Android operating system and the partners who have helped us to develop it."

We're quite curious to see whether this means Google will contribute money and/or manpower to HTC's legal defense -- we'd bet we'll see some of Eric Schmidt's crew at the table when this thing finally hits a courtroom. In related news, HTC 's posted up a short, more formal version of the statement we received yesterday, saying that it "believes that consumer choice is a key component to success in the smartphone industry," and that it doesn't think the suit "poses a short-term material impact to its business." That makes sense, seeing as it'll be weeks before HTC even files a response to the suit, and months -- if not years -- before it's resolved. We'll see how it goes.