HTC Ready to Take On Apple in Patent Suit

Mobile phone maker HTC publicly announced that it is ready to “fully defend itself” over allegations that it has infringed on iPhone-related patents owned by Apple. The company found itself on the wrong end of a lawsuit with Apple at the beginning of March for accusations that it was infringing on 20 different patents the Mac and iPhone maker owns.

Apple also filed a complaint against HTC with the International Trade Commission.

“HTC disagrees with Apple’s actions and will fully defend itself,” said HTC CEO Peter Chou.

“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,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs said. “We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.”

HTC, however, contends that it hasn’t stolen anything from Apple. “HTC strongly advocates intellectual property protection and will continue to respect other innovators and their technologies as we have always done,” Mr. Chou said.

HTC makes several smartphone models, including some that use Google’s Android platform such as the Nexus One. Google’s Android platform shares some similarities to the iPhone OS, and there has been speculation that Android’s multi-touch support is one of the areas Apple plans to target in court.

Apple executives have previously said that the company will use whatever means necessary to defend its intellectual property. HTC hasn’t said what it has planned for its defense.