HTC strikes back at Apple in patent dispute

HTC fired back at Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the patent infringement dispute between the two smartphone makers, alleging Apple is infringing on five of HTC's patents. The Taiwanese company asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to ban imports of Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod products into 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," Jason Mackenzie, HTC's vice president for North America, said in a statement. "We are taking this action against Apple to protect our intellectual property, our industry partners and most importantly our customers that use HTC phones."

According to the complaint, two of the patents are related to power management and the three others are related to hardware and software "used to implement telephone directories within mobile telephone systems."

HTC said it had $2 billion in U.S. phone sales last year, and that it makes "extensive use" of the patents in its own smartphones.

An Apple spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

HTC's complaint comes a little more than two months after Apples sued HTC for infringing on 20 of its patents related to the iPhone's user interface, underlying architecture and hardware. The suit by Apple against HTC was widely seen as a swipe at Google, since HTC has become one of the most prolific licensees of Google's Android mobile software. Apple filed its action concurrently with the ITC and U.S. District Court in Delaware.

In a separate action, HTC and Microsoft late last month signed a patent licensing deal covering HTC's Android handsets that calls for the smartphone vendor to pay Microsoft royalties on the phones.

For more:
- see this release
- see this NYT article
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Engadget post

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