Apple the manufacturer of iPhone has sued HTC in a case of Patent Infringement. According to Apple the Taiwan based company HTC has used the patented technology in their mobile phones and has violated the Patent. iPhone has always been known for its smart and touch screen features. The gesturing features of iPhone are like “Slide to Unlock”, and other motion sensing features. The suit filed by Apple is extended to Exedea which again is a subsidiary of HTC and incorporated in State of Texas. Exedea imports these HTC mobiles from Taiwan and sells the in US market.
The Four distinct Apple Patents are listed in the filing and are known as Asserted Patents. The four Asserted Patents that are involved in this case are:
The 453 patent:
Technology used for conserving battery by reducing voltage supplied to an instruction-processing portion of a processor.
The 849 Patent:
Unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image.
The 646 Patent:
System for Real-Time adaption to changes in display configuration
The 117 Patent:
System for real-time adaption to changes in display configuration
Apple owns the entire right, title, and interest in and to the Asserted Patents, including the right to bring this suit for injective relief and damages. All of the patents are valid and enforceable.
Apple sued HTC back in March 2010, and on the other hand HTC filed a complaint for freezing the sale of iPhone, iPad and iPod in the US in May 2010. As per HTC, Apple has violated the Patents owned by HTC. In June the International Trade Commission (ITC) agreed to investigate the suit filed by HTC.
The newly added patents both concern the same type of technology, which Apple lists as a “System for real-time adaption to changes in display configuration” In the original suit, Apple alleged that HTC is infringing on patents related to the iPhone’s graphical user interface and the iPhone’s underlying hardware and software design.
There are very few players in the mobile manufacturers industry because almost every feature of these mobile phones is patented as an intellectual property of the manufacturer. It is really tough for any new mobile manufacturer to stick its feet in this industry. Apple instead of going after Google (owner of Android) has asked ITC to ban the sale of HTC’s Android phones in US.
It will take years in the court before challenging Apple for infringement of HTC’s technology, but by that time there will be a commercial environment where producing a new software without having indemnity through cross-licensing agreement would be impossible. This would confine innovation, such as it would be, to large organisations and neuter open space. This would be attractive to the powerful, but inimical to the sort of environment that produced the internet.