HTC files complaint in US over Apple's products

Updated: 2011-08-18 10:23

By Victoria Slind-Flor (China Daily)

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HTC files complaint in US over Apple's products
A man plays with a HTC Desire smartphone at a mobile phone shop in Taipei August 15, 2011.[Photo/Agencies]  

OAKLAND, California - HTC Corp, Asia's second-biggest maker of smartphones, filed a complaint at the US International Trade Commission (ITC) that seeks to block imports of Apple Inc's iPhone, iPad and Mac computers.

The complaint filed on Tuesday in Washington claims Apple is infringing three patents related to wireless technology.

It follows a case lodged last year at the ITC that made similar claims.

The Taoyuan, Taiwan-based HTC also sued Apple on Tuesday in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, over the three patents - 7,765,414, 7,672,219, and 7,417,944.

"Apple needs to stop its infringement of our patented inventions in its products," HTC General Counsel Grace Lei said in a statement.

The two companies are part of a larger battle among smartphone makers looking to fight copycats and thwart competition in a market that is projected to reach $206.6 billion this year by researcher IHS Inc.

Apple, the world's biggest smartphone maker, has filed patent cases against handset makers using Google Inc's Android operating system, including Samsung Electronics Co, Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc and HTC.

"Competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours," Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for Apple, said in response to the HTC lawsuit.

Google on Tuesday moved to protect itself from lawsuits related to Android with a $12.5 billion agreement to buy Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc.

The acquisition would give Google at least 17,000 more patents.

HTC also has used acquisitions to bolster its position, agreeing in July to buy S3 Graphics Co after an ITC judge found that Apple's Mac OS X computer system violated two S3 patents.

HTC, which said in its latest complaint that it generated about $5 billion in US sales last year, claims Apple infringes a patent for portable devices that integrate features of a personal digital assistant and two patents related to networking to better combine telephones and video services.

The company targets the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac computers, Apple TV and the AirPort and Time Capsule wireless network equipment.

The ITC is a quasi-judicial agency that arbitrates trade disputes and has the power to block imports of products found to violate US patents.

The agency typically takes 15 to 18 months to complete reviews, and HTC's lawsuit in Delaware would likely be put on hold if the commission investigates the complaint.

A judge with the ITC is scheduled to release his findings in the earlier HTC case against Apple in September.

Last month, a different trade judge found that HTC infringed two Apple patents.

If that decision is upheld, it could lead to an import ban on certain HTC phones. Apple filed a separate complaint this month targeting HTC's phones and new Flyer tablet computers.

HTC and Apple "have to sit down and figure it out", HTC Chief Financial Officer Winston Yung said in a July 26 telephone interview. "We're open to having discussions," he added.

The ITC case is In the Matter of Certain Electronic Devices with Communication Capabilities, 2841, US International Trade Commission (Washington).

The civil case is HTC Corp v. Apple Inc, 11-cv-715, US District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

Bloomberg News

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