Aggression is the best form of defense! And when the aggression has a legal backing, it is all the more potent. This dictum appears to be at the center of the lawsuits filed by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL, LSE: 0HDZ, FWB: APC) against Taiwan-based smart-phone maker HTC Corp. (TSE: 2498).
The lawsuits filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission as well as the U.S. District Court in Delaware accuse HTC of infringement on 20 Apple patents linked with the user interface, fundamental structural design, and hardware of the immensely popular iPhone.
The infringed patents center on touch and gesture features, power conservation, touch-screen scrolling, and accelerometer capabilities.
"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. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours," said Apple's CEO Steve Jobs.
In the lawsuits, Apple has sought an injunction on the marketing and selling of HTC phones running Google's Android operating system, claiming that they copy iPhone functionality. Additionally, Apple has sought undisclosed damages payments.
Apple, through the lawsuits, has pointed a finger a bevy of HTC-made cell phones. The Nexus One, T-Mobile's G-1 and the MyTouch 3G are facing the heat.
In response to the lawsuits, an HTC spokesperson said, "HTC values patent rights and their enforcement but is also committed to defending its own technology innovations. Until we have had this opportunity, we are unable to comment on the validity of the claims being made against HTC."
The world’s largest maker of Android phones, HTC, claimed that it “is not only a mobile technology innovator, [we] also hold a large number of patents."
The company intends to work with the American justice system to safeguard its own innovations and rights. HTC was confident that the Apple lawsuit will not trouble its business.
Experts opine that the suit is, in fact, a shot at Google, whose Android operating system uses the multitouch function copiously.
It is pertinent to mention that the HTC-produced Nexus One phone is designed and sold by Google Inc. directly to consumers.
In an issued statement, Google said, “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."