HTC has just issued a press release about that giant patent lawsuit Apple has filed against them. There's no details yet on how exactly they're going to respond legally, but from a PR perspective the key points are that they "disagree with Apple's actions" (uh, duh?) and will "fully defend itself." 

“HTC disagrees with Apple’s actions and will fully defend itself. HTC strongly advocates intellectual property protection and will continue to respect other innovators and their technologies as we have always done, but we will continue to embrace competition through our own innovation as a healthy way for consumers to get the best mobile experience possible,” said Peter Chou, chief executive officer, HTC Corporation. 

HTC then delves into their storied history with smartphones, laying claim to a long list of firsts in the smartphone world that seem to be more about re-establishing their cred as innovators and not copiers than about hints at what sorts of patents they might counter-sue with. They note that they started designing the XDA back in 1999 and have delivered over 50 different smartphones to date. In other words, HTC has been in this game longer than Apple has and they won't let some pesky lawsuit prevent them from continuing to innovate.

Full press release after the break.

HTC DISAGREES WITH APPLE’S ACTIONS

Seattle – March 17, 2010 – HTC Corporation today outlined its disagreement with Apple’s legal actions and reiterated its commitment to creating a portfolio of innovative smartphones that gives consumers a variety of choices. Founded in 1997 with a passion for innovation and a vision for how smartphones would change people’s lives, HTC has continually driven this vision by consistently introducing award-winning smartphones with U.S. mobile operators.

“HTC disagrees with Apple’s actions and will fully defend itself. HTC strongly advocates intellectual property protection and will continue to respect other innovators and their technologies as we have always done, but we will continue to embrace competition through our own innovation as a healthy way for consumers to get the best mobile experience possible,” said Peter Chou, chief executive officer, HTC Corporation. “From day one, HTC has focused on creating cutting-edge innovations that deliver unique value for people looking for a smartphone. In 1999 we started designing the XDA

The O2 XDA by HTC was the first 3.5-inch color touch screen smartphone in the world in 2002. and T-Mobile Pocket PC Phone Edition The T-Mobile Pocket PC Phone Edition by HTC was the first 3.5-inch color touch screen smartphone in the United States in 2002., our first touch-screen smartphones, and they both shipped in 2002 with more than 50 additional HTC smartphone models shipping since then.”

The industry has recognized HTC’s contributions through a variety of awards including Fast Company’s 2010 Top 50 Most Innovative Companies and MIT Technology Review’s 2010 50 Most Innovative Companies. The GSMA also recently awarded the HTC Hero as the “Best Phone of 2009.” Some of HTC’s technology firsts include:

  • First Windows PDA (1998)

  • First Windows Phone (June 2002)

  • First 3G CDMA EVDO smartphone (October 2005)

  • First gesture-based smartphone (June 2007)

  • First Google Android smartphone (October 2008)

  • First 4G WIMAX smartphone (November 2008)

In 2009, HTC launched its branded user experience, HTC Sense. HTC Sense is focused on putting people at the center by making phones work in a more simple and natural way. This experience was fundamentally based on listening and observing how people live and communicate.

“HTC has always taken a partnership-oriented, collaborative approach to business. This has led to long-standing strategic partnerships with the top software, Internet and wireless technology companies in the industry as well as the top U.S., European and Asian mobile operators,” said Jason Mackenzie, vice president of HTC America. “It is through these relationships that we have been able to deliver the world’s most diverse series of smartphones to an even more diverse group of people around the world, recognizing that customers have very different needs.”

For more information on HTC’s history of innovation, please visit: www.htc.com/history.

About HTC

HTC Corporation (HTC) is one of the fastest growing companies in the mobile phone industry. By putting people at the center of everything it does, HTC creates innovative smartphones that better serve the lives and needs of individuals. For more information about HTC, please visit www.htc.com.

 
There are 21 comments

JAG says:

go htc!!!!!!!! beat those apple s*ckers!!!!!!!

Anonymous says:

it's just a press release.

Anonymous says:

I hope this isn't their legal argument, because it's just not going to fly. It's not about if they are innovators, but that they are innovators and duplicated Apple's innovations as well. This is a very thin legal argument and I'm assuming why Apple went for HTC first.

Eddie says:

"Press Release".

I agree. Don't get me wrong. I'm all for HTC, and hope they win. But yeah, the issue is not about whether they are innovators in the industry. But whether or not they infringed on Apple's patents.

Sort of like telling the judge that you're always a careful and responsible driver, and have been driving the speed limit ever since you got your license. That's not the issue. The issue is whether or not you were speeding on that particular day that the cop caught you on radar.

edit: This was meant to be a reply to the post above.

strhessed says:

I hope Apple LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSES !!!!

kathi17 says:

Great article. As far as I can see, anything HTC/Android/Winmo put into their touchscreen phones is just common sense, not copying. They are adding features we all ask for, and there are only so many ways of doing this. If Apple had it's way, no one would be able to have a touchscreen device except them, and all other devices would be stuck in the dark ages forever.

Someone needs to take on Apple For once the only thing they got going for them is the Iphone and every year they only give it a few features that has been out for ages voice daily, MMS, Video recording? come on apple is just a bunch of terroists in suits

Anonymous says:

Apple sued HTC first because they don't want to take on Google's deep pockets. And to those who claim this is a weak legal argument, well, it's not a legal argument at all. HTC isn't goimg to lay out their case in a press release for all to see. This is exactly what it's called, a press release. HTC is playing the publicity game as well.

Jamalshi says:

Lol, thank god someone else has a head on their shoulders. I was going to post a reply myself, but now I can just do this...

*Ditto*

dcdttu says:

1. Google doesn't make Android, so why would you sue them?
2. The Open Handset Alliance isn't 'sue-able' (they make Android). It'd be like suing 'Linux.'
3. Apple has much more worth than Google.

The only real entity to sue over patent infringement would be the handset makers that use the Android/Winmo technology in their handsets: HTC/Palm/Motorola/...

Anonymous says:

Where do you get your information?

1. Android was/is developed by Google along with others. Though it is open source doesn't mean it is unowned.

2. Any entity can be sued.

3. Who said anything about worth? Google has more than enough money to both protect itself and take offensive actions if it so chooses. And if it was a race to an end $ amount, my bet would certainly be on Google.

You should run along and salivate over that jaundiced steve jobs poster you have hanging over your bed on your ceiling and while your iphone completes it's fourth hour of PC-connected updating.

Anonymous says:

LLLLLLLETS Get Ready To RRRUUMMBBLLEEE!!!!!!!

tallbruva says:

I agree with the statement above and by twinturbostang. However what is also true is that public opinion can have a huge impact.

Why is it that lawyers say things in court knowing full well the judge will overrule them? Because once it's out there, it's in the jury's mind. Overruled or not, the jury now knows what that lawyer wanted them to hear even tho he knew it wasn't allowed.

This is what HTC is doing. Yeah, it is about whether HTC infringed on patents. But remember, Apple alleged in this suit that Apple is singularly responsible for the smartphone world that exists today.

The purpose of this release is to sway the mind(s) of whoever will eventually judge this case.

Anonymous says:

just as a sidenote...putting up the 3GS against the Dream isn't fair, go with the latest and greatest from both sides...throw the Supersonic or Incredible or Nexus One on that graphic AndroidCentral! Show some Android Pride...

It's going to be interesting. From what I've seen and after talking to my friend who's a patent lawyer and techie buff, the only thing thing that Apple might have some serious leverage with is the ability to use pinch to zoom as a means to zoom in on things. Thats because while no one can simply just patent a gesture, you can patent a gesture with respect to a very specifically defined task. Some of the other patents like under clocking a processor to conserve battery life are garbage, because that's been technology used in laptops for eons, way before Apple miraculously came up with the idea. But it will be interesting to see what HTC countersues with, as they are the older, more experienced company in the smartphone world. I would personally love to see Google directly come after Apple now and totally blindside Mr. Jobs. Afterall, how much in legal fees does apple really want to spend? They are involved in lawsuits with HTC, Nokia, and most likely Palm in the near future. I think even the slightest hint of Google throwing their muscle into this might make them back down and willing to settle out of court.

atomicdog21 says:

The best thing that can come out of this, and should come out of this for at least a few of these patents, is that a judge looks at these, says, "Apple, you clearly did not invent any of these things, and the things you did apply to smartphones first was a natural progression or step in technology. Not only do you not have any real basis to sue HTC, you have no real right to these patents. They are summarily rejected, and null and void."

"Now go make steve jobs a sandwich"

tkfox007 says:

Frickin' signed

tkfox007 says:

This is a stupid lawsuit, Apple ripped off so much tech that probably every computer and phone company should be sueing them. They didn't invent anything, they just stole it and patented it. LG should be sueing them since the iPhone is obviously based off the LG Parada.

A small company could make something that went under the radar by customers but then Apple will make the same thing and claim they own it. They shouldn't be allowed to patent or claim to of invented multi-touch, that is where technology is heading. If Apple had it's way, no tech comapny would have anything just because Apple has a patent that's so broad that you can't say it really covers anything. Just because the patented it first, doesn't mean that they made it first. I can't believe that they patented sleep mode. Every computer and cell phone on the planet has a sleep mode, if that's the case, Apple should be sueing every computer and phone manufacturer, but they won't because that's a loss in court.

And auto arrange? How can they claim that one? Windows has been doing it for years. My Windows 7 computer does it too, are they going to sue Microsoft? And unlocking with a gesture? At work we have XP and when we go to unlock the computer we have to do Ctrl+Alt+Del to put in our password. Ctrl+Alt+Del is technically a guesture.

I'm glad there's no more Apple tech in my house. Next thing I know Steve Jobs would patent the universe if he could. "A complex and vast area filles with stars planets and life forms" Or the circulartory system, "A system of viens that delives blood to all parts of the body in a living organism" Since Steve Jobs bought the cure to cancer and bought a new liver, I wouldn't doubt that he would.

Anonymous says:

If by some chance HTC does end up losing, maybe the general public should turn around and file a class action lawsuit against Apple for intentionally limiting the potential of smartphone development by only releasing iPhone on one cellular network.

The justice department would also need to get invloved depending on the judgment as iPhone would maintain an unfair monopoly that Apple specifically maintained in order to benefit a single cellular provider, limiting competition. And by failing to further innovate the smartphone as Android and HTC have managed to do since the iPhone was first released, they are guilty of abusing their monopolistic powers worse than Microsoft with Windows and Office.

If Apple had any balls they'd go after Google, MFST, and Rim and stop screwing with the little dogs. Windows Phone 7 is a carbon copy of Apple's business model and hardware in almost every way. If I where google I would stop supporting Iphone/Touch/Pad apps and tell the big "A" to suck it.

40 billion in the bank and this is what they define as "BOLD" moves. The have the money and they have the engineering might to innovate Android in to non existence if they really wanted to. However they choose litigation instead..

amazing post. I loved the comments better! Truly somebodys gonna have to stop Apple. From my point of view Google will be it. Google knows what Apple and steve jobs are upto, they will stop this mess of patents for sure.