updated 12:30 am EDT, Thu March 18, 2010
HTC claims it has been innovative
HTC late Wednesday formally objected to Apple's lawsuit. The Taiwanese smartphone maker said it would "fully defend itself" and denied that it had infringed any patents. It instead claimed it was respectful of technology and that it has been developing technology on its own.
"HTC strongly advocates intellectual property protection and will continue to respect other innovators and their technologies as we have always done," company chief Peter Chou said. "But we will continue to embrace competition through our own innovation as a healthy way for consumers to get the best mobile experience possible."
The company pointed out that it had one of the longest histories in smartphones and was the first with a Windows PDA in 1998; it had a 3.5-inch touchscreen smartphone through T-Mobile with the Pocket PC Phone Edition. It also argued that it edged out Apple for the first gesture-based phone, the HTC Touch, by a matter of weeks in June 2007.
No clues were given as to how HTC would defend itself, as only some of the 20 Apple patents in the dispute might find an earlier precedent through gestures or similar features in HTC's predominantly Windows Mobile-based early lineup. Many observers have contended that Apple's lawsuit is actually a proxy war against Google, which it believes has betrayed Apple's mobile efforts by launching Android and then introducing its own multi-touch support.