ITC to Investigate HTC Complaint Against Apple

The U.S. International Trade Commission is moving forward with an investigation into a complaint filed against Apple by cell phone maker HTC. The agency is already investigating a patent complaint from Apple against HTC over certain aspects of Google’s Android platform used in the company’s smartphone products.

According to the ITC, “The products at issue in this investigation are portable electronic devices that utilize certain power management methods and may incorporate hardware and software for telephone directories within mobile telephone systems.”

“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,” commented Jason Mackenzie, vice president of North America, HTC Corporation, when the complaint was filed. “We are taking this action against Apple to protect our intellectual property, our industry partners, and most importantly our customers that use HTC phones.”

Apple and HTC have been fighting over alleged patent violations related to each other’s smartphone products.

The winner in the legal battle so far, however, looks to be Microsoft. HTC agreed to pay the Redmond-based company licensing fees for its Android-based devices after being accused of violating Microsoft-owned patents.

The ITC hasn’t said when it expects to complete its investigation, although it is currently under a 45 day deadline to set a target date.