updated 02:20 pm EDT, Wed May 12, 2010
HTC calls on ITC to freeze Apple sales
(Updated with infringement details) HTC today fired back at Apple by asking the International Trade Commission to ban imports of the iPad, iPhone and iPod into the US. The move is in direct response to Apple's lawsuit from March and claiming that Apple handhelds violate five patents. HTC's North American VP Jason Mackenzie treated the request as a defense, hinting that it was also to protect carriers and OS makers like Google.
"As the innovator of the original Windows Mobile PocketPC Phone Edition in 2002 and the first Android smartphone in 2008, HTC believes the industry should be driven by healthy competition and innovation that offer consumers the best, most accessible mobile experiences possible," Mackenzie said. "We are taking this action against Apple to protect our intellectual property, our industry partners, and most importantly our customers that use HTC phones."
The response further complicates Apple's relationship to other handset makers and potentially escalates the conflict between the iPhone and the Android platform. Although Apple's lawsuit also covers some Windows Mobile devices, it's widely considered a proxy war against Google by attempting to ban or get royalties from Android's single largest partner.
Update: Despite HTC's frequent claims about being a pioneer in touch, the patents have no relation to touch interface. Two focus on power management on smartphones and portable handheld devices, while the remaining three revolve around telephone dialers with personalized, quick-access contact
lists. One of the patents, 7,716,505, was only just granted on Tuesday and may have been an impetus for the lawsuit.