updated 11:30 am EDT, Wed July 13, 2011
Apple suess HTC again to expand disputes
Apple matched its ITC complaint against HTC from Tuesday with a matching lawsuit. The new lawsuit claims HTC violates four patents that have already been used in the dispute, including one for "portable computers" as well as programming for touchscreen scrolling, touchscreen displays for things such as telematics, and a two-sided touchscreen panel. The Delaware-area complaint asks for the commonly requested triple damages and a ban on offending devices.
Lawsuits and ITC complaints are often filed side-by-side in patent disputes as ways of speeding along the process of a trial. ITC rulings on patent validity often come faster than in regular court cases and can help force a settlement. The lawsuit usually serves as leverage of its own by demanding financial damages on top of the production ban.
Apple first sued HTC last March in what's widely considered a proxy battle with Android. HTC has responded but, if it loses, could be forced to pay royalties and effectively pay a fee for using Google's OS.
HTC has complained of the strategy, which is common in the industry, of being an alternative to real competition. The iPhone still outsells all of HTC's collective phone mix, but HTC is catching up with rapid growth as it gets a deep footprint in the US and some parts of Europe.