Apple Sues HTC

By  |  Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at 9:55 am

I’m not a patent lawyer. So I don’t know what to make of the news that Apple is suing Taiwanese phone kingpin HTC over iPhone-related patents from a legal standpoint. It seems obvious, though, that the suit–which mentions the Nexus One and other HTC phones that run Google’s Android OS by name–is meant in part to put a chill down the spine of Google any company that makes Android phones, and maybe any company involved in the making of vaguely iPhone-esque phones, period. It’s not surprising given that Steve Jobs started bragging about Apple’s phone patents the moment he introduced the iPhone, and the company has specifically talked about suing infringing competitors.

The lawsuit follows Nokia’s suit against Apple and Apple’s countersuit against Nokia, and the more I think about it, the more I wish that everyone involve would just concentrate on making cool smartphones.

Back in 1988, Apple sued Microsoft and HP, claiming that Windows and HP’s New Wave user interface violated the Mac’s copyrights. Thatlawsuit didn’t seem to do much other than distract Apple from its real work: doing well in the market by making better products.

After the jump, for no other reason than that I like patent drawings, a few sketches from the Apple patents in question in its suit against HTC.

 
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21 Comments For This Post

  1. Alan Ralph Says:

    Given the number of patent that Apple has filed relating to the iPhone, I’m wondering why they are just now going after HTC, who have been making several comparable products for a few years. I’m hoping that HTC forces them to go to court, so that the merits of all of the various patents can be tested.

  2. Millard Says:

    I would guess that the delay would be to make sure the “offender” has enough skin in the game to settle for large sums of money rather than have time to redesign and avoid infringing. Between this and the child labor stuff…

  3. RevMike Says:

    My guess is that Palm’s valuation just went up. Palm has enough patents to bury Apple in this area. It would be interesting to see if Google buys Palm and puts and end to this.

  4. NookSurfer Says:

    Kudos to Apple, they finally decided to put their feet down. I knew there was a reason why all the newer SmartPhones had a similar look and feel. At the time I really couldn’t put a finger on it…but now it’s dawned on me… =) j/p I think when this is all said and done, and the dust have settled, Apple will have created a bigger and better device, and someone else will once again be playing catch up and trying to replicate Apple’s success.

  5. tom b Says:

    Go Apple!

  6. Michael B Says:

    Screw Apple! This is a very anti-competitive move, and since competition breeds innovation and low prices, it’s also a very anti-consumer move. I hope Apple gets counter-sued by big names in the Android market, including Motorola, which *invented* the whole damn concept of a cell phone!

  7. MattiasD Says:

    I’m from Sweden and I’ve created a facebook group that supports HTC in the battle.

    I have made it international so please join the group. It would really make me happy.

    Here is the link http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=337545123666

  8. David Worthington Says:

    I wonder what HTC has in its patent portfolio that it will inevitably use against Apple. I expect this to be settled out of court.

  9. Brandon Backlin Says:

    So Apple patented the act of answering a phone?

  10. Andrew Sansone Says:

    This story was a Trending Topic on Twitter today http://bit.ly/98RjsK Will there be backlash for Apple?

  11. tom b Says:

    “Screw Apple! This is a very anti-competitive move, ”

    What are you, a Communist or something? If HTC ripped ME off, I’d sure sue them.

    “competition breeds innovation and low prices,”

    Genius breeds innovation; competition, does, however sometimes flood the market with low-priced junk, like HTC phones.

    “I hope Apple gets counter-sued by big names in the Android market, including Motorola”

    Oh yeah, Motorola. Real innovative company, there. Had chips that were blowing Intel out of the water for, like a decade, and basically sat on their hands until Intel caught up and blew past them. You like MOT so much, why not put all your retirement money in their stock?

    Or do what I did– buy plenty of AAPL. I think you’ll be happier with that in the end.

  12. Tech Says:

    It’s just a ploy by Apple go get at Google.

  13. Dan Says:

    Perhaps FreeBSD && OpenDarwin should counter sue Apple on google’s behalf!

  14. newbie Says:

    I think we should buy Google Nexus One. Obviously it’s better than iPhone otherwise Apple wouldn’t be threatened to take action.

  15. Roger Says:

    I can understand the move that Apple is making. Every inovator should be able protect their intelectual property. But there is also a fine line between what is public knowledge and what is intelectual property. Thinks if Tv makers are suing each other for havng remote controls. Or having a rectangular screen? Would jean makers be sued for having pockets? This really begs the question that because comsumer find certain functions to be desirable or simply the layout it may create more harm.
    My 2 cents

  16. Bobert Says:

    Steve Jobs is a feminine hygiene product.

  17. rita Says:

    I just got the new HTC Pure today, in fact I just read & currently commenting using my new HTC. & I’ce got to say I like it alof better than the iphones that j have tried in the past. My phone before this one was a BlackBerry which I really liked but just wanted to try something different. Apple needs to get over it. if they sued every company because a phone looked like and had the capabilities (better if u ask me)then we’ll all be stuck using crappy phones that no one will even try to make any better for fear over being sued. Either move on & make something better Apple or move over!

  18. JT Greedy Apple/Jobs Says:

    I would really like to know what Apple patented? If any, pretty much any other company has components and software that is used by Apple one way or the other. iDontcare about anything Apple. They don’t want to allow me to do/run whatever program I want.

  19. Tommy Says:

    Reguardless of who wins this case the nexus one google phone is amazing it just sh!ts on the iphone and i have had both i just got sick of all the “idont’s” because for everything iphone doesnt do Droid does and then some. Mr. Jobs is just getting worried that android is gonna be better then his old ass iphone software and thats a big reason for the lawsuit…..Long Live Android

  20. madhawk1138 Says:

    Are you kidding? "Finally decided to put their feet down?"
    All Apple has ever done is put it's foot down and squash any signs of coloring outside the lines.
    That's why people who own apple products like to "Jailbreak" their products.
    That's why Apple denies app applications of those it sees as competitors.
    Apple's feet has been down for a long time. Apple is the new big brother.

  21. Irmgard Lindsey Says:

    Was there a result for this case? I hope this issue was already settled and they learned something from this.

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