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HTC Complains to ITC about Apple

It wants the ITC, where Apple also has a similar complaint, to block Apple from importing its precious gadgets

You probably know but for the record we should say that last week the notoriously patent-poor HTC complained to the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington that Apple's iPhone, iPod and iPad tread on five of its patents, one so new HTC only got the thing the day before it lodged its grievance.

It has not - well, at least not yet - filed suit in the federal courts like Apple has but it wants the ITC, where Apple also has a similar complaint, to block Apple from importing its precious gadgets, all made in China, into the U.S. and to forbid it to sell the stuff.

Three of the patents cited HTC acquired and relate to telephone directories in mobile phones/PDAs. The two others are its own IP and cover power management in portable devices. HTC says it uses the widgetry in phones like Google's own Nexus One.

Whether any or all of them will make a difference in the patent litigation Apple has unleashed against the Taiwanese company remains to be seen, but remember too that HTC is now also armed with a Microsoft cross-license that appears to apply to the HTC-made Android phones that Apple claims violate its patents as well as the Windows phones it's aiming at. Can you see Microsoft, Google and HTC lawyers in a huddle on this one?

One of the acquired patents was asserted in 2003 by a Canadian outfit called GEZ Microsystems Inc against Samsung and Sprint but the case never made it to court.

The patents are identified as U.S. Nos 6,999,800; 5,541,988; 6,058,183; 6,320,957; and 7,716,505.

The complaint notes that HTC generated ~$2 billion in the U.S. selling its products last year. Ironically NPD says Android phones are currently outselling iPhone in the U.S., with Android accounting for 28% of the market in Q1 to Apple's 21%. Apple claims NPD's sample is too small and points to the worldwide market where it's supposed to be ahead.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at) or paperboy(at), and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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