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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 vision33r on 7/12/2011 9:25:56 PM , Rating: 2
These suits is just a small volley, HTC has not even seen the beginning of the 6000+ Nortel Patents recently acquired. Apple is hitting them with lawsuits after lawsuits until HTC runs out of money.

You guys clearly have no clue what's coming for HTC.


RE: The black kettle
By cmdrdredd on 7/12/2011 10:07:10 PM , Rating: 2
Or Google, I think at some point Google will step in and back the companies that support their OS. They make money after all.

This couldn't be fixed by saying "we don't make phones with multi touch. "We make pocket sized computers that have the ability to make calls over a wireless network."


RE: The black kettle
By xpax on 7/12/2011 10:16:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You guys clearly have no clue what's coming for HTC.

The patents aren't owned solely by Apple, but by a purchasing group which includes many companies (Apple, Microsoft, Research in Motion, EMC, Ericsson and Sony).

If any of those patents pose an issue, I'm sure that they too can be licensed.

The fact of the matter as it stands, Nortel not withstanding, is that Apple is a patent troll. They patent things which are blatantly obvious, have more prior art than the Louvre, and won't stand up against anything or anyone but the most brain-dead judge.

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.


RE: The black kettle
By themaster08 on 7/13/2011 2:38:14 AM , Rating: 2
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.
Agreed. It's their stupid problem that they used such a generic, basic, previously used design as their trade dress. Their design icon is near impossible to not "infringe" upon, particularly for the touchscreens of nowadays.

If "trade dress" is all they have to defend themselves, then that just goes to show the lack of innovation coming from Cupertino. Another case of Apple using their market influence to stifle the competition, with patents that should have never been granted, and ones that sure as hell will be invalidated when masses of prior art is revealed in the courts.

HTC are spot on with their words. I just hope that they come out on top of all of this. They are one of the few manufacturers that seem to know what their customers really want, how to treat them, and how to defend them.


"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser














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