Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Apple Sues HTC Claims Hardware/Software Infringement

In a brief statement released today Apple announced it is suing HTC for infringing on 20 Apple patents related to the iPhone’s user interface, underlying architecture and hardware. The lawsuit was filed concurrently with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and in U.S. District Court in Delaware.

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

Apple feels that the vast majority of HTC's smartphones including: the Nexus One, Touch Pro, Touch Diamond, Touch Pro2, Tilt II, Pure, Imagio, Dream / G1, myTouch 3G, Hero, HD2, and Droid Eris - (pretty much everything) infringe upon either software or hardware related patents held by the company.

According to Engadget the news of the fillings comes as a shock to HTC who reportedly stated they had yet to be served with a complaint. In a brief statement HTC told Engaget "We only learned of Apple's actions based on your stories and Apple's press release. We have not been served yet so we are in no position to comment on the claims."

Apple has submitted over 700 pages of exhibits to the Delaware District Court many of which can be viewed over at Engadget

My opinion

Apple undoubtedly makes a ton of money on the iPhone and the company is looking to keep their edge in the market. Most of the software based complaints appear to revolve around multi-touch and gestures. How a company can be allowed to patent something I do with my hands I don't know, but Apple has shown ion the past they are willing to fight to keep try to keep these gestures off other phones.

I didn't read all of, nor would I claim to fully understand, most of the complaints filed but they looked fairly vague and most look like complete nonsense. I mean come on "Unlocking A Device By Performing Gestures On An Unlock Image" I guess that means moving my hand over to the power button and pressing on is now patented? Lets get real here!

Update: Engadget now has a great break down on the suit that includes more patent details - Apple vs HTC: a patent breakdown

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