HTC Corporation announced Tuesday that it has asked the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) to halt all imports of Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod touches into the U.S. on the basis of what HTC claims is a violation of five of the company’s patents.
“As the innovator of the original Windows Mobile PocketPC Phone Edition in 2002 and the first Android smartphone in 2008, HTC believes the industry should be driven by healthy competition and innovation that offer consumers the best, most accessible mobile experiences possible,” Jason Mackenzie, vice president of North America, HTC Corporation, said in a statement. “We are taking this action against Apple to protect our intellectual property, our industry partners, and most importantly our customers that use HTC phones.”
HTC and Apple have been in a legal battle for months, with each company accusing the other of violating several patents relating to touchscreen interfaces and other related technologies involved in smartphones. Both companies have filed lawsuits in U.S. courts, as well as with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This latest filing brings the battle to the ITC, as well.
HTC also recently entered into an agreement with Microsoft to license Big Redmond’s patents following an accusation from Microsoft that HTC’s Android phones violated its patents. It’s been speculated that the licensing agreement was also a defensive move by HTC to help protect itself in its battle with Apple.