Looks Like Apple Is Suing HTC (Again)

It appears Apple has filed yet another patent infringement lawsuit against HTC and its subsidiaries.

From the looks of it, the new suit, which was filed earlier this week in the same Delaware court as the initial lawsuit filed in March 2010, is adding two one additional patent to the twenty the Cupertino company alleged were being infringed upon by HTC.

As the court documents (embedded below) show, Apple mentions four of its patents in the suit. However, two of them had already been included in the initial suit, and it appears like they are being re-included because of some minor corrections that needed to be made by the USPTO.

But, there’s also mention of infringement upon these two (similarly titled) patents, which were not initially included:

6,282,646: “System for real-time adaptation to changes in display configuration” by Hendry et. al. and assigned to Apple Computer, Inc. (Granted 8/28/2001)

7,380,116: “System for real-time adaptation to changes in display configuration” by Hendry et. al. and assigned to Apple Inc. (Granted 5/27/2008)

Update: looks like the patents are actually one and the same after all – the second one is a continuation of the first application. Here’s the summary:

A hot-plugging capability for video devices is achieved by shifting the responsibility for recognizing changes in the configuration of a display environment from a computer’s operating system to a device manager.

When an input/output device is added to or removed from the computer system, an interrupt signal informs a device manager of the fact that a change in configuration has occurred. In response thereto, the device manager determines whether the changed component relates to the computer’s display function.

If so, the device manager makes a call to the computer’s display manager, to inform it of the fact that the display configuration has changed. In response to this call, the display manager reconfigures the display space for the computer system and notifies clients as appropriate, to accommodate display features associated with the added component.

With this change in the configuration of the display space, the added component becomes immediately available for use.

And one of the drawings included in the patent:

I’m not an expert here, but this could be a new lawsuit, given that there’s a unique case number and filing date. The court is the same (Delaware District Court), but a judge has not yet been assigned according to the filing docs. That or this one replaces or expands the initial lawsuit. As I said, I’m no expert.

Either way, it looks like Apple is writing another chapter in the patent wars against HTC (which counter-sued Apple back in May for infringement of five of its patents).

We’ve been in touch with both companies, but have not heard back.

We’ll update as soon as we find out more.