Apple today filed a lawsuit against HTC today, accusing the rival smartphone maker of infringing on 20 patents related to the user interface, underlying architecture, and hardware for mobile phones.
“We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We’ve decided to do something about it,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.”
Multi-touch Brings Multi-lawsuits?
The details on exactly what patents Apple believes HTC is infringing on have not yet been made public.
One strong possibility is the use of multi-touch. Early last year, Apple received a patent for using multi-touch on any type of touchscreen, and extensively uses this technology in the iPhone. HTC has incorporated multi-touch in its HTC Sense user interface, which it layers on top of Google’s Android OS.
But that’s just the beginning — Google incorporated multi-touch into the Android OS with version 2.0. And Palm’s webOS makes extensive use of this technology. It’s possible Apple has more lawsuits up its sleeve.
The lawsuit against HTC was filed concurrently with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and in U.S. District Court in Delaware.
Late last year, the maker of the iPhone filed a similar lawsuit against Nokia, after Nokia had sued Apple for patent infringement.