Apple has filed a lawsuit against HTC alleging that the Taiwan based handset manufacturer has infringed on nearly 20 of Apple's proprietary inventions relating to the iPhone's UI, architecture and hardware.
The lawsuit has been filed with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) as well as the US District Court in Delaware.
In a media release published yesterday, Steve Jobs has been quoted as saying:
"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."
The patents in question are:
- Patent No. 7,362,331: “Time-Based, Non-Constant Translation Of User Interface Objects Between States”
- Patent No. 7,479,949: “Touch Screen Device, Method, And Graphical User Interface For Determining Commands By Applying Heuristics”
- Patent No. 7,657,849: “Unlocking A Device By Performing Gestures On An Unlock Image”
- Patent No. 7,469,381: “List Scrolling And Document Translation, Scaling, And Rotation On A Touch-Screen Display”
- Patent No. 5,920,726: “System And Method For Managing Power Conditions Within A Digital Camera Device.”
- Patent No. 7,633,076: “Automated Response To And Sensing Of User Activity In Portable Devices”
- Patent No. 5,848,105: “GMSK Signal Processors For Improved Communications Capacity And Quality”
- Patent No. 7,383,453: “Conserving Power By Reducing Voltage Supplied To An Instruction-Processing Portion Of A Processor”
- Patent No. 5,455,599: “Object-Oriented Graphic System”
- Patent No. 6,424,354: “Object-Oriented Event Notification System With Listener Registration Of Both Interests And Methods”
- Patent No. 5,481,721: "Method for providing automatic and dynamic translation of object oriented programming language-based message passing into operation system message passing using proxy objects"
- Patent No. 5,519,867: "Object-oriented multitasking system"
- Patent No. 5,566,337: "Method and apparatus for distributing events in an operating system"
- Patent No. 5,929,852: "Encapsulated network entity reference of a network component system"
- Patent No. 5,946,647: "System and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data"
- Patent No. 5,969,705: "Message protocol for controlling a user interface from an inactive application program"
- Patent No. 6,275,983: "Object-oriented operating system"
- Patent No. 6,343,263: "Real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data"
- Patent No. 5,915,131: "Method and apparatus for handling I/O requests utilizing separate programming interfaces to access separate I/O services"
- Patent No. RE39,486: "Extensible, replaceable network component system"
In the lawsuit, Apple specifically notes that HTC Android handsets including Nexus One, T-Mobile G1, HTC myTouch 3G, HTC Droid Eris and HTC Hero are among the devices that infringe upon the company's proprietary inventions and calls for a ban on import of these handsets. Ironically, Apple is also presently fighting a similar case with Nokia where the Finnish mobile company has accused Apple of infringing patents and has called for the ban on import of iPhones.
Responding to the claims, HTC has categorically denied infringement of any of the patented inventions. In a statement posted on the Taiwan Stock Exchange website, the company says:
"HTC is not only an innovator in mobile technology but also an owner of many patents. We take American and international patent rights protection seriously. We will closely cooperate with US justice system in the case to protect our own innovative values and rights."
Considering that some of the patents listed above are ubiquitous on smartphones today, do you see Apple taking on the other major smartphone manufacturers? Tell us your views in the comments.