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Apple is suing HTC

Touchy feely infringement accusation

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Apple has filed a lawsuit against Taiwanese manufacturer HTC, citing 20 patent infringements including UI and hardware as well as architectural design.

Apple has filed suit in the US District Court, as well as the US International Trade Commission (ITC): the latter presumably in the hope of blocking HTC from importing patent-infringing electronics into the USA, but the details of the offending patents aren't yet clear.

"We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours," says Steve Jobs in the canned statement from Cupertino. The statement goes on to point out that Apple "ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s" and "reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s" - just in case anyone had doubts about who was the most innovative company.

HTC has its own user interface, TouchFlo, which is used across its own-brand handsets, but Apple's beef is more likely to be about HTC's role in the production of Google's Nexus One. Earlier this month the Nexus One got a software update which enabled multi-touch, including an implementation of "pinch to zoom" - something much admired on the iPhone and well protected by Apple's patent library.

Quite where HTC is infringing with regard to "underlying architecture" and "hardware" we're not clear. HTC isn't commenting and Apple is mysteriously quiet for us as ever, but once we find out we'll be sure to let you know. ®

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