Mar 02 AT 11:59 AM Taylor Wimberly 112 Comments

Rotten Apple: HTC sued over 20 patents

Are we really surprised? They might not be the biggest handset maker yet, but HTC is clearly producing the best smartphones on the market. Apple has identified them as a threat and decided to unleash their team of high paid lawyers to slow them down.

Today in a U.S. District Court, Apple filed a lawsuit against HTC for infringing on 20 Apple patents related to the iPhone’s user interface, underlying architecture and hardware. Apple CEO Steve Jobs went as far as to say HTC is stealing their technology.

“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.”Steve JobsApple CEO

According to the court documents Apple is seeking a permanent injunction that would stop HTC from selling devices in the United States.

Many had speculated that Apple was the reason some Android phones didn’t support multitouch out of the gate, but we never had any official confirmation. Now we have a list of patents that Apple claims have been “stolen”. These include features we have seen on several Android phones like unlock screens, rotating displays, accelerometer controls, and power conserving technology.

Update: Neowin has an official response from HTC.

“HTC is a mobile technology innovator and patent holder that has been very focused over the past 13 years on creating many of the most innovative smartphones. HTC values patent rights and their enforcement but is also committed to defending its own technology innovations. HTC only learned of Apple’s actions this morning via media reports, and therefore we have not yet had the opportunity to investigate the filings. Until we have had this opportunity, we are unable to comment on the validity of the claims being made against HTC.”

Update 2: Gizmodo has a nice illustrated guide for some of the patents.

Update 3: Engadget reports Apple is specifically targeting Android and has named several phones in the suit including the Nexus One, Dream / G1, myTouch 3G, Hero, and Droid Eris.

Update 4: Steve Jobs responds via YouTube. “Good artists copy. Great artists steal.”

Apple patents listed in the suit include:

  • 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.
  • United States Patent No. 5,481,721 entitled “Method for Providing Automatic and Dynamic Translation of Object Oriented Programming Language-Based Message Passing Into Operation System Message Passing Using Proxy Objects,” issued on January 2, 1996…
  • United States Patent No. 5,519,867 entitled “Object-Oriented Multitasking System,” issued on May 21, 1996…
  • United States Patent No. 6,275,983 entitled “Object-Oriented Operating System,” issued on August 14, 2001…
  • United States Patent No. 5,566,337 entitled “Method and Apparatus for Distributing Events in an Operating System,” issued on October 15, 1996…
  • United States Patent No. 5,929,852 entitled “Encapsulated Network Entity Reference of a Network Component System,” issued on July 27, 1999…
  • United States Patent No. 5,946,647 entitled “System and Method for Performing an Action on a Structure in Computer-Generated Data” issued on August 31, 1999…
  • United States Patent No. 5,969,705 entitled “Message Protocol for Controlling a User Interface From an Inactive Application Program,” issued on October 19, 1999…
  • United States Patent No. 6,343,263 entitled “Real-Time Signal Processing System for Serially Transmitted Data,” issued on January 29, 2002…
  • United States Patent No. 5,915,131 entitled “Method and Apparatus for Handling I/O Requests Utilizing Separate Programming Interfaces to Access Separate I/O Service” issued on June 22, 1999…
  • United States Patent No. RE39,486, entitled “Extensible, Replaceable Network Component System,” reissued on February 6, 2007…

Via: CNET

Source: Apple

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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