Apple/HTC Patent Suit Could Have Far-Reaching Effects

patent infringement lawsuit against HTC Corp.

The suit, filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, claims that HTC manufactured and sold many technologies developed by Apple and protected by patents owned by Apple and its subsidiary NeXT Computer. Apple is seeking a permanent order from the ITC prohibiting the sale of the devices in the United States, as well as damages through a suit filed in the U.S. District Court of Delaware.

Apple claims that it owns the patents to certain software architectures, frameworks and implementations, including various aspects of software used to implement operating systems, that HTC has used in its smartphones, according to the complaint.

In a response posted Wednesday at, HTC denies the patent infringement charges, saying it has been focused for 13 years on creating smartphones. "HTC Corporation values U.S. and international patent rights and will work with in the U.S. Judicial System to protect its own innovations and rights," according to the company. "HTC believes that consumer choice is a key component to success in the smartphone industry and this is best achieved through multiple suppliers providing a variety of mobile experiences. HTC has focused on offering its customers a uniquely-HTC experience through HTC Sense and its broad portfolio of smartphones."

In a statement, HTC's smartphone partner Google stood behind HTC, saying ""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."

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Apple is apparently willing to dig its claw deep in with this one. In its claim with the ITC, Apple included 14 physical exhibits, including its own iPhone 3GS and MacBook Pro, along with 12 different HTC devices, in boxes with packaging, that it believes include patent infringements including the Nexus One, Touch Pro, Touch Diamond, Touch Pro2, Tilt II, Pure, Imagio, Dream (T-Mobile G1), myTouch 3G, Hero, HD2 and Droid Eris.

So while HP and Cisco nastily slap at one another by ending longterm partnerships, at least they're not filing lawsuits to get each other's products barred from the U.S. Well, at least not yet.