Apple Hits HTC with iPhone Patent Lawsuit

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Apple filed a lawsuit against mobile phone maker HTC on Tuesday for allegedly infringing on 20 different iPhone-related patents. The patents in question relate to the iPhone interface, hardware and underlying architecture.

Along with the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Delaware, Apple also filed a complaint against HTC with the U.S. International Trade Commission.

"We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We've decided to do something about it," commented Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a statement. "We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."

Apple has previously promised to defend its patents with whatever means it has at its disposal, which typically means through the legal system.

HTC is known for smartphones such as its Android-based Droid Eris, and the Nexus One that it builds for Google.

HTC hasn't commented on the pending litigation.

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Ok, nit to pick.

It may be semantics, but I think unless any manufacturer can (and must) show “original”, it would be wiser to use the word proprietary.  If you did truly create something and still own the rights, that would be original. But when somebody else creates it, you buy it, it’s not your original technology. You may own it, but that’s just not the same. If the law is going to make use of the distinctions, the filings and claims ought to be held to the same standard. It just makes us all more informed in the long run.

Stepping off the soap box. Let the games continue. How long till HTC and Nokia sue each other?

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

As incestuous as the computer and smartphone business is, I do not know how Apple avoids repercussions in the future even if it wins all these legal battles.

For example, AT&T does a lot of business with HTC. Does anyone think AT&T is happy that one of its most valued suppliers is suing another one of its most valued suppliers?

So right on cue, Schiller will roll out soon to explain why Apple’s legal belligerence is nothing for anyone to worry about. Perhaps they were getting complaints from parents and women’s groups that HTC phones could run boobie apps.

@Tiger: HTC and Nokia won’t sue each other. Long time players in the mobile phone game know how incestuous things are and they just do their thing. They cooperate on standards. They know that even a few percent market share is a lot of money. Especially in a rapidly growing market (mobiles) or segment (smartphones).


So… is Apple suing over Sense UI?

HTC is known for smartphones such as its Android-based Droid

The Droid is made by Motorola. HTC makes the Droid Eris, but is much better known for the Hero and it’s Windows Mobile phones.

Jeff Gamet

Hey, daemon, thanks for catching the missing “Eris” in “Droid Eris.” It’s fixed now.


So Apple has cited every Android phone that HTC makes, that includes the Nexus One and the G1 (both of which use stock Android and have no added interface software from HTC), along with half of the current Windows Mobile phones (HTC has about 20 different Windows Mobile phones currently being sold on the market, just about all of ‘em with some sort of custom user interface like TouchFlo or SenseUI) as examples of infringement.

From these actions, expect Apple to try and pull this off with Motorola next.

HTC hasn’t commented on the pending litigation.

According to Gizmodo HTC has commented with the following:

We only learned of Apple’s actions based on your stories and Apple’s press release. We have not been served any papers yet so we are in no position to comment on the claims. We respect and value patent rights but we are committed to defending our own innovations. We have been innovating and patenting our own technology for 13 years.

Looks like Apple has decided to push everyone out of the smart phone business by leveraging their $40 billion to tie all other manufacturers product lines up in litigation.

This is an extremely risky gambit on Apple’s part. The government is currently being ran by Democrats and not the big business loving Republicans. I can see all this back firing on Apple pretty quick (unless Apple’s entire intent is to speed up the process of destroying our current patent system by forcing Congress to address it).


Nilay Patel over at Engadget has a post up about this suit and has been examining the suits. He claims that the Windows Mobile handsets are listed for using digital signal processing chips and not for anything software related (meaning that Windows Mobile is in the clear), but that every single one of the Android handsets are being flagged for software issues that would be true of any Android based handset.

Looks like this is Apple’s opening attack on all things Google. I would expect Apple to hit the Open Handset Alliance fairly quickly, but their strategy might be to scare all handset manufacturers away from Android rather than try and take on the OHA directly….

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