For lack of a better term, Apple has been more than a little litigation-happy lately. While they’ve focused most of their recent efforts on Samsung and Motorola, Apple is now coming under fire from a company they’ve already sued: HTC.
HTC has filed a suit (warning: PDF) in the U.S. District Court in Delaware claiming that Apple has infringed on three of their patents by producing what they refer to in legalese as “Accused Apple Products.” The list of said products is extensive, to say the least: it lists among other things “personal computers, mobile communications devices, wireless printers, streaming wireless capable television, wireless network equipment [and] portable digital music and video players.” In short, nearly everything that Apple makes allegedly infringes on the patents that HTC owns.
Of the three patents HTC claims were infringed upon, only one (#7,765,414) was filed by HTC themselves.The other two of patents in question (#7,672,219 and #7,417,944) were picked up when HTC paid $75 million to purchase ADC Telecommunications’ patent portfolio last April. They deal with “multipoint-to-point communication using orthogonal frequency division multiplexing” and “method for orderwire moduation” respectively, two topics that are apparently far-reaching enough to encompass Apple’s entire product lineup.
HTC’s suit also aims for the bleachers when it comes to the nitty-gritty of their compensation. On top of compensatory damages for Apple’s patent infringement, HTC also seeks enhanced damages of up to triple the amount of compensatory damages. What’s more, the suit calls for a possible injunction against making, selling, or importing any of Apple’s accused products within the U.S.
It’s a huge move by HTC, with whom Apple has shared some rough history. Given what’s been going on in the tech world in recent weeks, it feels as though this suit could be the result of many factors. HTC could simply be firing back at Apple for another patent infringement lawsuit they were on the receiving end of. It could also be on some level a show of force after the Google/Motorola deal, a way to bolster their public image as fighters in the face of future competition with Motorola. In any case, HTC has asked for a jury trial, so there will be much, much more drama to come.