HTC Stands Up to Apple’s Legal Bullying

by Matt Klassen on March 19, 2010

Two weeks ago Apple fired a warning shot across Google’s bow by suing their leading handset manufacturer HTC for multiple patent infringements. Apple also went a step further by appealing to the US International Trade Commission to block the import of several devices HTC produces oversees.

Even though Google wasn’t named in any of the legal documents, Apple was letting the search engine giant know in no uncertain terms that the new Android OS and the newest Google smartphones were treading on Apple’s turf, and Steve Jobs would never let that happen without a fight.

While many analysts are divided over who would come out on top in the direct legal confrontation between Google and Apple, this suit was widely seen as an attempt to cut Google’s supply lines, robbing them of their chief innovation, the Android OS. The details of the suit leveled against HTC are centered primarily on patents relating to the iPhone’s graphics interface system (touchscreen technology) as well as the basics of hardware and software design.


But today, in a statement posted on the companies website, we learned that HTC is fighting back, promising to defend its own intellectual property and to not back down from Apple’s strong-arm techniques.

“HTC disagrees with Apple’s actions and will fully defend itself. HTC strongly advocates intellectual property protection and will continue to respect other innovators and their technologies as we have always done, but we will continue to embrace competition through our own innovation as a healthy way for consumers to get the best mobile experience possible,” said Peter Chou, HTC Corporation’s chief executive officer.

Further, Chou notes that HTC has a long history of cutting edge innovation, implying that they have no need to steal technology from Apple, since they clearly can produce their own. While it remains to be seen whether HTC can dance with the big boys when its comes to drawn out patent litigation, its good to hear that they’re at least up for the challenge.

Not only is Apple suing HTC, but they themselves are subject to patent infringement claims levied against them by Finnish company Nokia; both suits have certainly made this an age of patent litigation and it will be interesting to see how this all plays out in the courts.

What is almost certain, however, is that Apple will not succeed in eliminating key Google Android products, even if they are successful in their battle against HTC. While the courts are supposed to remain blind to public opinion, I have no doubt that the rapidly rising consumer support for Android will impact any legal decisions made in this case.

For now consumers have nothing to worry about, as legal battles like this tend to take years to sort through, and in the mean time HTC will undoubtedly continue to produce and develop Android based handsets to the ever growing delight of mobile users across the globe.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca >. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com > by: RSS >, Twitter >, Identi.ca >, or Friendfeed >

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