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Apple v. Google: The Battle Is Fully Joined

After taking some time to digest the massive 20-patent lawsuit filed against it by Apple on March 2, HTC (and partner Google) have responded. Their take? HTC says it has plenty of its own patents and isn't infringing on Apple's.
After taking some time to digest the massive 20-patent lawsuit filed against it by Apple on March 2, HTC (and partner Google) have responded. Their take? HTC says it has plenty of its own patents and isn't infringing on Apple's.HTC filed an official response to Apple's lawsuit with the Taiwanese Stock Exchange. The company noted that it has been in business for 13 years "and so HTC is not only a mobile technology innovator, [we] also hold a large number of patents." HTC says it has developed its own smartphone technology, and is not using Apple's patented technology. The company said it will cooperate with the U.S. legal system to defend its intellectual property. Apple is seeking to ban HTC from importing its handsets into the U.S.

On the financial side of the equation, both HTC and analysts believe that the lawsuit won't impact the company in the short term, but think the long-term consequences could pose trouble. "If Apple wins the lawsuit, this may potentially affect HTC's revenues and their competitiveness in the long run," said Chia-lin Lu, an analyst at Macquarie Capital Securities.

What's interesting is that Google pro-actively reached out to TechCrunch and emailed the blog a statement supporting HTC. It said, "We are not a party to this lawsuit. However, we stand behind our Android operating system and the partners who have helped us to develop it."

Many of the patents named by Apple describe how users interact with touch-based devices. Based on the descriptions of the patents, they apply more to the Android operating system itself more so than any tweaks that HTC may have made. Perhaps that is why Google jumped into the fray in support of HTC. This lawsuit is Apple's first -- if tangential -- shot at Android.

With the number of smartphone companies now suing one another -- Nokia, Apple, RIM, HTC, etc. -- it's clear that a turf war is well underway. All players are in the game to win, and will take any advantage over the competition they can get.