HTC claims it didn't copy Apple, Google backs HTC

HTC has issued a statement with the Taiwan Stock Exchange regarding Apple's recent lawsuit.

Apple said on Tuesday that it is suing Taiwan-based smartphone manufacturer HTC for infringing on 20 Apple iPhone patents. HTC is insisting that it designed and developed its user interface, HTC Sense, in-house and will defend Apple's lawsuit. "HTC is a mobile technology innovator and patent holder focused on creating many of the most innovative smartphones in the past 13 years," the Taiwanese firm said in a statement. HTC also stated it has no plans to counter-sue Apple at the moment.

Google threw its weight behind HTC yesterday and issued a statement to technology blog TechCrunch. "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," read a statement from Google.

The patents relate to the iPhone’s user interface, underlying architecture and hardware. Apple has filed the lawsuit with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and in U.S. District Court in Delaware.

“We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We’ve decided to do something about it,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.”

At least one of the patents relates to "Unlocking A Device By Performing Gestures On An Unlock Image". According to the court papers Apple is seeking a permanent injunction that would stop HTC from selling devices in the United States of America.

This isn't the first time the iPhone has been caught up in legal fights. Nokia filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission (ITC) in December 2009 saying almost all of the company's products violate its patents not just the Apple iPhone. Nokia believes Apple's iPhone, iPods and computers all violate its intellectual property rights. Apple counter sued to fight the allegations and the case is still ongoing.

HTC manufactures a large number of devices based on the Windows Mobile and Android operating systems. Google's Nexus One Android phone is also manufactured by HTC.

Here's an old video of Apple CEO Steve Jobs talking about Apple. Ironic?

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