Fri, May 14, 2010 - Page 12 News List

HTC files lawsuit against Apple, calls for injunction

CLAIMSWhile Apple has accused HTC of violating 20 iPhone patents, HTC said in its complaint with the ITC that Apple has infringed on five of its patents

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

HTC Corp (宏達電), the world’s leading maker of smartphones running on Windows Mobile and Android platforms, yesterday said it had filed a counter-lawsuit against Apple Inc, asking for an injunction on the sales of the popular iPhones, iPads and iPods in the US.

HTC has filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission (ITC) in the US to halt the import and sales of the devices in the country because of an infringement of five HTC patents, the company said in a statement released yesterday.

“As the innovator of the original Windows Mobile Pocket PC 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 the statement.

“We are taking this action against Apple to protect our intellectual property, our industry partners, and most importantly, our customers,” he said.

The move is HTC’s counter action against Apple, which filed lawsuits in a US District Court in the state of Delaware and with the ITC in March, accusing HTC of violating 20 iPhone patents related to “user interface, underlying architecture and hardware.”

The iPhone, whose sales hit more than 40 million worldwide in the first quarter, was introduced in 2007 by the company behind iPods, iPads and Macintosh computers.

Apple is asking for unspecified damages and an injunction to prevent HTC from making or selling products using the patents in dispute.

Currently, US consumers have a variety of choices among 12 HTC smartphones available from national wireless carriers, the statement read.

Recent models include the Evo 4G with Sprint, the Droid Incredible with Verizon Wireless and the HD2 with T-Mobile.

The smartphones market — viewed as the next growth engine for the overall cellular phone industry — is indeed heating up.

The NPD Group said this month that sales of Android phones unexpectedly topped Apple’s sales for the first quarter in the US, with 28 percent and 21 percent market share respectively.

The BlackBerry platform was first at 36 percent.

Researcher IDC, meanwhile, released its first-quarter market share data, placing Nokia and Research in Motion (the maker of BlackBerry) atop the worldwide smartphone market, with 39.3 percent and 19.4 percent respectively. Apple finished third at 16.1 percent, while HTC was the fourth at 4.8 percent.

Bolstered by the statement released yesterday morning, shares of HTC closed up 3.7 percent at NT$432 (US$13.1) in Taipei trading.

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