HTC Corp.'s (SEO:066570)
general counsel, Grace Lei, issued a scathing analysis of competitor Apple,
to the Agence France Press (AFP), commenting,
"HTC is disappointed at Apple's constant attempts at litigations instead
of competing fairly in the market. HTC strongly denies all infringement claims
by Apple in the past and present and reiterates our determination and
commitment to protect our intellectual property rights."
Those harsh words come as the gadget maker is
fighting for its very survival in the face of Apple's legal harassment.
Apple is seeking a temporary injunction that would block
shipments of product in the U.S., essentially killing HTC's sales.
Apple chief Steve Jobs accuses HTC and other
Android phone makers of conspiring to "steal" "innovation"
from his iPhone. He claims that Android phone makers copied the iPhone's
look, which was protected under a design patent. He also claims Android
phone makers infringed on his
company's patent on undervolting a CPU via
interrupt and on multi-touch gestures such as the "pinch" movement.
Apple has sued HTC in multiple countries.
HTC has vigorously defended itself, complaining
that Apple's patents are overly generic and obvious. It has filed
countersuit against Apple.
Apple is also
suing Motorola Solutions Inc. (MSI)
and Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (SEO:005930), the
other two biggest manufacturers of Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android operating system.
Android smart phones outsold Apple's iPhone over
2 to 1 globally in the last quarter.
HTC rose from relative obscurity by becoming one
of the first phone makers to wholeheartedly embrace Android. Today it is
one of the most prominent Android phone makers on the market.
The AFP report contains a minor error in that it states that
Apple and Finland's Nokia (HEL:NOK1V) are
currently suing each other. Those suits have actually been settled
by both parties under a licensing agreement.
quote: Apple's patents are overly generic and obvious
quote: They are getting desperate. They are already behind in smartphone sales and are worried about the tablet market being taken out by Android as well. The iPod Touch is fading out of existence and their laptop/PC sales are number 5 globally.
quote: However, they may have some legal ammunition regarding the multi-touch
quote: To put it in perspective, my group at the University of Toronto was working on multi-touchin 1984 (Lee, Buxton & Smith, 1985), the same year that the first Macintosh computer was released, and we were not the first.
quote: and undervolting.
quote: You guys clearly have no clue what's coming for HTC.
quote: Trade dress? Make me laugh. There are only so many ways you can design a phone, and the iPhone has never been particularly innovative or differentiated in that regard. It's a black square, possibly with a different color backplate.