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Apple announced today that they are suing Windows Phone and Android hardware manufacturer, and Sense UI developer, HTC for patent infringement. The suit, filed in US District Court in Delaware, alleges violation of "20 Apple patents related to the iPhone’s user interface, underlying architecture and hardware". Says Apple CEO Steve Jobs:

“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. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.”

This harkens back to Steve Jobs' original introduction of the iPhone at Macworld 2007 when, as a keynote bullet point, he stated emphatically about the iPhone -- "boy did we patent it."

HTC, who produces the Android G1, MyTouch, and Hero and the Nexus One hardware for Google, and a variety of Windows Phones including the Touch Pro 2 and HD2 has built their own multitouch solutions, even when Google was reticent to implement the technology themselves. Curiously, Apple has yet to go after Palm, perhaps due to Palm's equally impressive mobile patent portfolio. Likewise, does going after HTC allow Apple to go after Android and Windows Phone without taking on Google and Microsoft?

More on this as it develops. Also keep an eye on our sibling sites, Android Central for more from the HTC angle.

UPDATE: Gizmodo has the full list:

  • The ‘331 Patent, entitled "Time-Based, Non-Constant Translation Of User Interface Objects Between States," was duly and legally issued on April 22, 2008 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
  • The ‘949 Patent, entitled "Touch Screen Device, Method, And Graphical User Interface For Determining Commands By Applying Heuristics," was duly and legally issued on January 20, 2009 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘949 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit B.
  • The ‘849 Patent, entitled "Unlocking A Device By Performing Gestures On An Unlock Image," was duly and legally issued on February 2, 2010 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘849 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit C.
  • The ‘381 Patent, entitled "List Scrolling And Document Translation, Scaling, And Rotation On A Touch-Screen Display," was duly and legally issued on December 23, 2008 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘381 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit D.
  • The ‘726 Patent, entitled "System And Method For Managing Power Conditions Within A Digital Camera Device," was duly and legally issued on July 6, 1999 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘726 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit E.
  • The ‘076 Patent, entitled "Automated Response To And Sensing Of User Activity In Portable Devices," was duly and legally issued on December 15, 2009 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘076 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit F.
  • The ‘105 Patent, entitled "GMSK Signal Processors For Improved Communications Capacity And Quality," was duly and legally issued on December 8, 1998 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘105 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit G.
  • The ‘453 Patent, entitled "Conserving Power By Reducing Voltage Supplied To An Instruction-Processing Portion Of A Processor," was duly and legally issued on June 3, 2008 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘453 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit H.
  • The ‘599 Patent, entitled "Object-Oriented Graphic System," was duly and legally issued on October 3, 1995 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘599 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit I.
  • The ‘354 Patent, entitled "Object-Oriented Event Notification System With Listener Registration Of Both Interests And Methods," was duly and legally issued on July 23, 2002 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘354 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit J.

Yikes. Apple is asking for permanent injunction and triple damages. Some of those also read so broad that I don't feel safe even making gestures in traffic any more!

What do you think? Is Apple right to sue? Is this their attempt to stop what happened with the Mac from happening to the iPhone? And why HTC in particular?