HTC has just announced that it is suing Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) for violating five of its patents, and is asking the US International Trade Commission to “halt the importation and sale of the iPhone, iPad, and iPod in the United States”. The move comes in response to a suit Apple filed against HTC in March that listed over 20 patents HTC is allegedly violating with its Android devices.
From HTC’s press release:
Seattle – May 12, 2010 – HTC Corporation today took legal action against Apple Inc., filing a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) to halt the importation and sale of the iPhone, iPad and iPod in the United States.
“As the innovator of the original Windows Mobile PocketPC Phone Edition in 2002 and the first Android smartphone in 2008, HTC believes the industry should be driven by healthy competition and innovation that offer consumers the best, most accessible mobile experiences possible,” said Jason Mackenzie, vice president of North America, HTC Corporation. “We are taking this action against Apple to protect our intellectual property, our industry partners, and most importantly our customers that use HTC phones.”
We’re still gathering more details on the suit. Apple’s suit against HTC is all about Android — HTC makes some of OS’s most popular handsets, including the Droid Incredible and the Nexus One. Obviously Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) makes Android, but rather than assault the search giant head-on, Apple is looking to scare away other device manufacturers from using the free Android OS. In response, Google told us that it would be working to “stand behind” its partners — in other words, it’s going to help HTC defend against Apple’s attack.
We should point out that HTC recently forged an agreement with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) that “provides broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for HTC’s mobile phones running the Android mobile platform”. We’re looking to see if that agreement is playing into this.
This isn’t the only legal battle Apple will be waging — last week Nokia (NYSE:NOK) slapped Apple with another lawsuit, and earlier today we reported on a small company called SoftView that is also suing Apple over some display technology.
Also see this HTC marketing video, uploaded to YouTube yesterday, which clearly is meant to show that HTC is an innovator in the mobile space: