We live in an age where intellectual property can easily be worth more than any physical asset, and that situation has spawned an entire business based on suing companies for dubiously infringing on particular patents. Companies these days wage patent-warfare on each other for the sake of protecting unique and innovative technology or just to make some cold, hard cash. Apple has done just that with their lawsuit, filed yesterday, against smartphone maker and Android pioneer HTC. But, HTC isn’t ready to roll over and let Apple have its way with them.
Apple has come out with guns blazing, claiming that HTC is treading on almost two dozen of its patents for the iPhone. HTC, for its part, is claiming that they respect patent rights and that they’ve been building up a small army of patents in its own intellectual property portfolio. The Taiwanese smartphone ODM-turned-global-smartphone-maker “is a mobile technology innovator and patent holder that has been very focused over the past 13 years on creating many of the most innovative smartphones.”
Interestingly, HTC didn’t even get wind of Apple’s intention to sue them until the story broke in the media. “HTC only learned of Apple’s actions this morning via media reports, and therefore we have not yet had the opportunity to investigate the filings. Until we have had this opportunity, we are unable to comment on the validity of the claims being made against HTC,” said a spokesperson. Of course, even if they had been privy to Apple’s legal manuevering, we wouldn’t expect them to come out and comment publicly on an ongoing legal battle with a tech company that has enough cash on hand to buy out the entire Seventh Ring of Hell. Apple is a scary sonnuvagun when it comes to legal matters, so keeping mum on the issue makes sense.
As for how HTC plans to handle the situation, we’re told that the company will defend its products and innovations. HTC apparently doesn’t just value “patent rights and their enforcement, but is also committed to defending its own technology innovations.” See that last bit? Them’s fighting words!
We’ll have to wait to see how Apple and HTC duke it out in the courts. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple parlaying this lawsuit into a larger suit against Google themselves. Time will tell.
Read more about the Apple-HTC lawsuit here.