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Apple: HTC Is Stealing From Us

Today Apple filed a lawsuit against competitor HTC. Apple says that HTC is infringing on 20 phone-related patents and CEO Steve Jobs notes that the company is going to act to protect its intellectual property.
Today Apple filed a lawsuit against competitor HTC. Apple says that HTC is infringing on 20 phone-related patents and CEO Steve Jobs notes that the company is going to act to protect its intellectual property.Apple has been going on the offensive of late with respect to its patented technology. It's interesting, because Apple is quite often the target of patent litigation. This time, Apple is taking HTC to task.

Apple filed a lawsuit against HTC for infringing on 20 Apple patents related to the iPhone's user interface, underlying architecture and hardware. The lawsuit was filed concurrently with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and in U.S. District Court in Delaware.

Apple didn't specify what outcome it is seeking from the lawsuit. Companies often file lawsuits in Delaware because that's where many are legally headquartered. Lawsuits filed with the ITC are a different matter. The ITC controls international commerce, and can block companies from importing goods to the United States. Apple and Nokia have both filed complaints against one another with the ITC and are both seeking to block the other from importing devices. It's possible that Apple will seek the same type of injunction against HTC.

"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," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO in a prepared statement. "We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."

Apple didn't single out any particular handset made by HTC, but there are perhaps a dozen that come to mind -- including the Nexus One, myTouch 3G, Hero, Eris -- that could be part of the lawsuit.

HTC has yet to respond to the allegations.