HTC ‘disagrees strongly’ with Apple’s patent infringement claims, vows to fight lawsuit

Fiji Water Company“In his first public comment on the suit, HTC chief Peter Chou said the company ‘disagrees with Apple’s actions,’ though he did not go into specifics,” The Associated Press reports.

“Apple says HTC’s phones — several of which use Google Inc.’s Android mobile operating software — infringe on 20 of its patents,” AP reports. “The patents cover technology like iPhone two-finger screen recognition, which allows users to perform multiple functions on the gadget.”

AP reports, “The suit, filed earlier this month, served as a warning to rivals that Apple Inc. is ready to aggressively defend its technology amid intensifying competition in the smart phone market.”

Full article here.

Brad Stone reports for The New York Times, “In an interview, Jason Mackenzie, vice president of HTC America, said that ‘HTC disagrees strongly with Apple’s actions and we plan to use all the legal tools we have at our disposal to defend ourselves, as well as to set the record straight.'”

“Mr. Mackenzie would not say whether HTC plans to countersue Apple, or how much legal help it can expect from its partner, Google, which may be the real target of Apple’s ire,” Stone reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: HTC’s press release, verbatim:

HTC Corporation today outlined its disagreement with Apple’s legal actions and reiterated its commitment to creating a portfolio of innovative smartphones that gives consumers a variety of choices. Founded in 1997 with a passion for innovation and a vision for how smartphones would change people’s lives, HTC has continually driven this vision by consistently introducing award-winning smartphones with U.S. mobile operators.

“HTC disagrees with Apple’s actions and will fully defend itself. HTC strongly advocates intellectual property protection and will continue to respect other innovators and their technologies as we have always done, but we will continue to embrace competition through our own innovation as a healthy way for consumers to get the best mobile experience possible,” said Peter Chou, chief executive officer, HTC Corporation. “From day one, HTC has focused on creating cutting-edge innovations that deliver unique value for people looking for a smartphone. In 1999 we started designing the XDA and T-Mobile Pocket PC Phone Edition, our first touch-screen smartphones, and they both shipped in 2002 with more than 50 additional HTC smartphone models shipping since then.”

The industry has recognized HTC’s contributions through a variety of awards including Fast Company’s 2010 Top 50 Most Innovative Companies and MIT Technology Review’s 2010 50 Most Innovative Companies. The GSMA also recently awarded the HTC Hero as the “Best Phone of 2009.” Some of HTC’s technology firsts include:

• First Windows PDA (1998)
• First Windows Phone (June 2002)
• First 3G CDMA EVDO smartphone (October 2005)
• First gesture-based smartphone (June 2007)
• First Google Android smartphone (October 2008)
• First 4G WIMAX smartphone (November 2008)

In 2009, HTC launched its branded user experience, HTC Sense. HTC Sense is focused on putting people at the center by making phones work in a more simple and natural way. This experience was fundamentally based on listening and observing how people live and communicate.

“HTC has always taken a partnership-oriented, collaborative approach to business. This has led to long-standing strategic partnerships with the top software, Internet and wireless technology companies in the industry as well as the top U.S., European and Asian mobile operators,” said Jason Mackenzie, vice president of HTC America. “It is through these relationships that we have been able to deliver the world’s most diverse series of smartphones to an even more diverse group of people around the world, recognizing that customers have very different needs.”

Source: HTC Corporation

John Paczkowski writes for AllThingsD, “The implication here seems to be that these ‘firsts’ somehow negate Apple’s claims that the company violated 20 of its patents. And while it’s certainly possible that might be the case, it’s hard to accept that argument without a list of patents to back it up. Harder still, when HTC says nothing about its legal strategy for dealing with Apple’s assault.”

Paczkowski asks, “Does HTC plan to countersue? Does the company have any IP of its own with which to mount a viable defense? Or will it simply take Apple to the mat with its ‘strong disagreement’ and toothless positioning statements like the one above?”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: ‘Tis highly likely that Apple would not have launched concurrent lawsuits with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and in U.S. District Court, if they didn’t believe they had a strong case against HTC et al.


  1. Slater get your infomation correct, it is a
    Apple that has the Patents not Htc and be correct Htc will lose allot more then you think they will.

    Facts are patents are used in lawsuits and will prevail Htc has a very WEAK Patent list and even if Apple gets them on one infrigment of the 20 Htc is done for.

    Odds are with Apple not with Htc.

  2. I bet Steve really regrets trumpeting Picasso’s “Good artists copy, great artists steal” comment now, doesn’t he? It’s all well and good when Apple takes, say, an idea from Xerox, and puts them in their own products, isn’t it?

    ‘Intellectual property’ is a misnomer as property is its true sense only applies to physical, tangible things – <u>not</u> ideas and concepts, such as a multi-touch gesture…

    Consider these for thought:

    What if Karl Benz patented the combustion engine? Or Henry Ford the mass production process, or even the components that formed the model T? What if the guy who invented the screw patented the twisting motion…?

    What if Marx had a team of lawyers who set upon you everytime you uttered ‘communist manifesto’ or ‘socialism’ etc; or alternatively ‘the invisible hand’, the ‘division of labour’ (and so on), in the case of Adam Smith?

    What if Merck patented the digestive process? Would you pay a royalty to them for every meal you eat? Or, stop eating? Or ask their permission to eat?

    The iPhone <u>shouldn’t need lawyers</u> to protect it from the competition when its own brand name and quality of design can do that more than adequately. That’s my central point here.

    When companies spend money attacking each other in court, remember that the money they pay the lawyers could have gone into capital investment, research, product development, wages, facilities…

  3. HTC is certainly in a difficult corner, but the guys at google have also illustrated their lack of diligence in their planning. Apple brings revolutionary products to market by painstakingly crossing the “t”s and dotting the “i”s. HTC doesn’t have a large patent portfolio, and Google shoots from the hip. Who do you think is more likely to have made a fatal mistake here?

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.