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HTC is fighting for its survival against a lawsuit-zealous Apple.  (Source: Reuters / Pichi Chuang)
Is Apple trying to kill the free market? HTC's law team thinks so

HTC Corp.'s (SEO:066570) general counsel, Grace Lei, issued a scathing analysis of competitor Apple, Inc. (AAPL) 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.

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RE: The black kettle
By Iaiken on 7/12/2011 4:43:47 PM , Rating: 4
However, they may have some legal ammunition regarding the multi-touch


Bill Buxton wrote his dissertation on multi-touch and gestures as input to an OS via touch screen back in 1984 and it was published by the University of Toronto in April of 1985. He also has the common decency to recognize that he was standing on the shoulders of other giants.

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.

Even if Buxton and company had patented it and Apple had purchased the patent from them, it's 17 year term would have expired in 2002.

and undervolting.

Intel and AMD likewise have numerous patents (33 between them) pertaining to the use of software to undervolt hardware as a power saving feature. So there is a long history of prior art there as well.

Apple has got sweet-f***-all...

RE: The black kettle
By Solandri on 7/12/2011 5:05:10 PM , Rating: 4
Apple's undervolting patent is basically "undervolting the CPU on a phone". It's as bad as all those stupid business patents which tacked on "on the Internet" to ordinary business ideas which have been in use for decades and sometimes centuries.

RE: The black kettle
By redbone75 on 7/12/2011 11:50:26 PM , Rating: 2
And thus it should be invalidated. No one should be allowed to wrap a set of protocols around an existing technology and then claim they've invented something new. Patent system overhaul ftw!

RE: The black kettle
By kitonne on 7/13/2011 3:17:45 PM , Rating: 2
Undervolting to reduce power - part of basic Circuits curiculum, when I went through school, 1982-1983 time frame. Maybe somebody needs to pick up a book on basic circuits from the library and READ it :) Micros have done it since forever, see Z8 family from Zilog (remember them?), pick up a 1988 data book for a refresher - you could step down the voltage supply while the micro was in "sleep mode" and going in and out of sleep mode was under program control (as well as external events). Yes, you had to have a couple more parts in your circuit to cut down voltage supply and bring it up on demand, but prior art is there....

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