Apple Sues HTC for Patent Infringement

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Well, looks like smartphone maker HTC has joined Nokia on the patent infringement express train--at least, that's what the folks at Apple are arguing.

On Tuesday, Apple filed a patent infringement lawsuit against HTC with the International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court of Delaware. Apple is accusing the company of infringement on 20 of its iPhone-related patents. While the specifics are not yet known, the patents are said to be related to the iPhone's user interface, architecture, and hardware.

This suit brings to mind Apple's recent patent troubles with Nokia--although in this case HTC's not the one firing the first shot. Steve Jobs himself stepped out of his iPad-generated cone of silence to comment on this most recent lawsuit: "We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."

This mirrors a quote given by Apple's General Counsel, Bruce Sewell, after Apple countersued Nokia in December: "Other companies must compete with us by inventing their own technologies, not just by stealing ours."

This isn't the first time that Apple has made noises about defending its intellectual property. In January 2009, shortly after the release of the Palm Pre, Apple's COO Tim Cook said on the company's quarterly financial results call that Apple didn't mind competition, "as long as they don't rip off our [intellectual property]." Apple, of course, never sued Palm, though that didn't really help Palm much.

Of course, when it comes to patent infringement, nobody really wins. Think of the children, Apple.

This story, "Apple Sues HTC for Patent Infringement" was originally published by Macworld.

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