Google "stand behind" Android and HTC in Apple lawsui

Are the Google gloves coming off?  After the furore yesterday over the Apple/HTC lawsuit, and the quick assumption that the Cupertino legal team actually have Google and their Android platform in their sights, the search giant has stepped up to the plate with a statement of support for their HTC pals.

"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" Google spokesperson

Apple specifically referred to a number of Android-based devices in their lawsuit – while several Windows Mobile handsets were also mentioned, they are only ever referred to obliquely as "DSP Devices" – but fell short of naming Google.  The crux of Apple's argument is that HTC have overstepped the mark on 20 iPhone-related patents; however, the patents themselves generally cover OS-level functionality, something more within Google's realm than HTC's.

Google haven't detailed exactly what their pledge to "stand behind" both Android and HTC might entail in the long run, but if – as widely speculated – Apple hoped to drag them into a legal fight then it looks as though they've succeeded.  We're hoping to hear more from HTC soon; yesterday's statement was a basic acknowledgement of the lawsuit, since the company only heard about it through media reports.