HTC bitten by Apple again!

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Court room battles have become an everyday occurrence for Apple. After battling other giants like Amazon and Samsung, Apple is still out for more blood.

The Cupertino based company has filed another lawsuit against HTC with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), heating up the patent litigation between the two companies. The ITC, an arbiter of trade disputes, can block imports into the U.S. of products it finds to infringe on patents.

The latest dispute adds to a pile of patent fights involving mobile companies, including Microsoft Corp., Nokia Corp. and Research in Motion Ltd., among others.

Both companies have been embroiled in a legal dispute over software and technology for mobile devices.

In March 2010, Apple filed its first set of patent-infringement allegations against HTC. Those complaints covered other cellphone technologies, such as power-management functions and the method of unlocking a handset with a finger swipe on a touch screen. HTC has denied those claims.

Latest

Apple’s latest suit involves five patents related to technology behind features such as the scrolling and multitouch gesturing used to control smartphones and the “rubber band” effect that shows the screen bouncing up when a user scrolls past the end of a document.

The patents in question are the same ones that are used in another complaint against Samsung patents for scrolling operations, programmable tactile touch-screen displays, a double-sided touch-sensitive panel, a patent for scrolling, zooming and rotating content on a screen, and one that concerns portable computers.

HTC denied Apple’s claims. “HTC is dismayed that Apple has resorted to competition in the courts rather than the market place,” said Grace Lei, HTC’s general counsel.” HTC is a Taiwan-based maker of electronic devices, many of which use Google Inc.’s Android operating system.

Another patent at issue has to do with motion sensors used to match the display with whether users are holding the device upright or sideways.

In the complaint, Apple said it also plans to file civil action at the U.S. District Court in Delaware.

Portfolio of patents

Some analyst say that though thedescriptionof the patents sound pretty generic and all smartphones are able to things that Apple describes, the scale may tip towards Apple. It all boils down to patents. The Taiwanese OEM doesnt have a strong portfolio of patents to rely upon in this legal battle.

However HTC has mentioned that it will continue to vehemently deny all of Apples past and present claims against it and will continue to protect and defend its own intellectual property as it has already done this year.

Well, this is why a consortium of six companies bought the Nortel patents right under Googles nose for a cool $4.5 bn (for more info visit http://arabiangazette.com/google-cramped-out/), to keep legal battles at bay.

Protecting ones intellectual property is everyones right, why bother parenting an idea if one is not going to fight to keep. Arabiangazette.com spoke to some Apple users and non-Apple users regarding the issue.

Apple users said that Apple has a right to protect itself from copycats. Non Apple users said that it seems that Apple wants to be the only smartphone manufacturer and its trying to eliminate competition. This is not a healthy way forward.

Source: Wall Street Journal, Techgeer. Ubergizmo

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