HTC counter-sues Apple, claims 5 patents infringed

HTC has just announced that they're counter-suing Apple for infringement, claiming Apple treads on 5 specific HTC patents.

“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,” said Jason Mackenzie, vice president of North America, HTC Corporation. “We are taking this action against Apple to protect our intellectual property, our industry partners, and most importantly our customers that use HTC phones.”

Apple originally sued HTC for patent infringement on April 2, citing 20 patents in a move widely speculated to be directed towards Google's Android platform in general. HTC had since agreed to license patents from Microsoft -- counter-intuitively -- for Android, again speculated to me a move directed towards Google.

Just like the Nokia vs. Apple suit and counter-suit, these types of suits can take months if not years to resolve, especially in the still forming smartphone space.

[HTC via Android Central]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

HTC counter-sues Apple, claims 5 patents infringed


Get um HTC... Friendly Competition, or in Apples Case not so friendly how many enemies must Steve make haha...

HTC stole its technology from the UK company Sendo way back at the start of the Windows Mobile train crash. They have a nerve suing Apple!

It makes sense that he is an Android fan, as his (or just as likely her I guess) name is "Go Android."
I am glad to see HTC do this. Apple makes some great products, but without competition, will sit on them and do nothing. Apple has been stagnant on the iPhone for far too long, and someone (looks like HTC), is going to have to kick them right back into innovation mode.

It's amazing--Apple gets sued by companies (for example Kodak) that have no merit and people cheer; Apple sues for some obvious infringement (and some possibly questionable) and people call Steve the boogyman

Yawn, the headline should read, everyone sues everyone. It's almost laughable and shows the folly of the curent patent system.

Myself I'm Completely ANTI-Apple... But im a blackberry fan at the moment Switching over to Evo on Release... Was an HTC Original G1 Owner... For reasons I couldnt foresee my G1 is dead... Water + Phone :(
iPhone is Okay and I'll knock it just like Any other phone but after all the "Walled Garden" bs they keep throwing around they need a kick in the pants...
Adobe going after them for Anti-trust now HTC... this is going to be an Interesting next few months...
Any bets on who's next to file against Apple...
HP owns Palm Now and i know Palm has an arsenal HP can use against Apple...

Where are the people claiming that APple rightfully sued HTC .. Would you say the same about HTC rightfully suing Apple?

Hahahaha sit and stew! Of course we will JT of course.... It's funny how many ppl think apple is going to fail and loose their place at the top, but over the past 9 yrs all they've been doing is innovate new products! What goes up must fall down right?.... But apple is far from reaching it's peak! So enjoy the coming yrs droid and HTC!!

All these lawsuits are getting ridiculous. It's like the old "my dad can kick your dads ass". They all seem like babies.

Apple, don't worry. Not much substance from HTC,
* U.S. Patent No. 6,999,800: Relating to a method of managing power -- on, sleep, off -- in a smartphone that includes both a phone system and a PDA.
* U.S. Patent No. 5,541,988: Relating to a telephone dialer that can store and access information in a telephone directory.
* U.S. Patent No. 6,058,183: Another telephone directory patent, this one covering a method of selecting one page from a plurality of pages.
* U.S. Patent No. 6,320,957: Still another telephone directory patent, this one specifying a way to actually make a call once the number has been located.
* U.S. Patent No. 7,716,505: A second power-management patent, this one covering a method for transferring data from volatile memory to non-volatile memory when a device enters sleep mode.

As opposed to the patents Apple is suing HTC over (filing at ), including such gems as:
‘331 Patent, entitled “Time-Based, Non-Constant Translation Of User Interface Objects Between States”
‘849 Patent, entitled “Unlocking A Device By Performing Gestures On An Unlock Image”
‘599 Patent, entitled “Object-Oriented Graphic System”

In theory, yes. In practice, no.
Even on the ITC "rocket docket," a decision will take over a year, at which point both sides will have come out with at least one more generation of their respective products. The ITC is notorious for favoring patent holders, even for absurd patents, which is why HTC chose to countersue rather than merely defend against Apple. When the venue historically favors plaintiffs, the best defense by far is a good offense.
So Apple would likely win their offensive, and HTC would likely win their offensive. Neither can afford an ITC ban, so the two of them will rattle their sabers at each other as long as their PR needs allow, and then they will announce a cross licensing agreement before a verdict is rendered.

Good time to be a lawyer. Win or loose, they will get paid. The longer it can drag on the better for them. It is the American way. To bad they cannot get along and realize it hurts the customer in the long run.

You're welcome. Of course, I am not a lawyer, so, for all I know this would resort in the sky falling, and dogs and cats living together, with nary an Apple product in sight. :)
But I think that is highly unlikely.