Earlier today, Apple issued a press release stating that it has filed suit against cell phone manufacturer HTC for patent infringement. No mention of Android or Google was in the press release. But the actual legal complaints, which we’ve obtained and embedded below, make no bones about it. As expected, this lawsuit is about Android. HTC, of course, is one of the largest manufacturers of Android handsets.
The complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Delaware targets: “certain mobile communication devices including cellular phones and smart phones, including at least phones incorporating the Android Operating System (collectively, “the Accused Products”).” And the complaint filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission specifically calls out the various HTC Android phones (including the Nexus One, Magic/myTouch 3G, Dream/G1, Hero, and Droid Eris) as the main offending products. By going after the biggest Android manufacturer, Apple is putting all Android cell phone makers—and by extension Google— on notice. Is there any doubt now why Google CEO Eric Schmidt had to resign from Apple’s board last year? The battle lines are now drawn.
At least one of the patents (No. 7,479,949) lists Steve Jobs as an inventor, and describes a method to use a touchscreen as a graphical user interface “detecting one or more finger contacts with the touch screen display” (i.e. multi-touch). The complete list of patents the complaint says are being infringed include:
Another complaint was filed with the ITC and may include other patents, since there are only ten here and Apple claims 20 patents are being infringed altogether.
HTC Corp, (TAIEX: 2498) produces smartphones running the Android and Windows Phone 7 operating systems for themselves and as an OEM to other manufacturers. Since launching its own brand in late 2006, the company has introduced dozens of HTC-branded products around the world. The company recently introduced the HTC diamond to compete with Apple’s iPhone. Founded in 1997 by Cher Wang, Chairwoman, and H T Cho - former CEO who is a chairman now, HTC made its name as...