HTC launches new patent lawsuit against Apple

Armed with new patents transferred from Google, HTC has filed a new lawsuit against Apple and amended two previous legal complaints.

HTC filed the new lawsuit against Apple in US court this week. HTC accuses Apple of infringing four patents in a range of products and services including Macintosh computers, iPhones, iPods, iPads, iTunes, MobileMe and iCloud.

Google patents

The four patents were originally assigned to Motorola but were all transferred to Google either late last year or early this year. Then, last week, all four patents were transferred to HTC. HTC did not respond to questions about whether it bought the patents from Google or if Google gave it the patents.

In addition, HTC on Wednesday amended its complaint against Apple with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) to assert five former Google patents. Those patents originated with Palm and Openwave, were transferred to Google and last week were transferred to HTC.

HTC also amended another previous suit to add the new patents to that complaint.

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Extended battle

HTC's new complaints are the latest in an ongoing battle with Apple, which has attacked several Android licencees in court. The disputes are an indication of just how competitive the mobile phone market has grown. Android and iOS have the largest market shares in the mobile market in the US.

In July, the ITC issued an initial determination that HTC infringed two Apple patents. The ITC has also agreed to investigate a separate complaint against HTC filed by Apple and is investigating an HTC complaint against Apple.

HTC has had a relatively weak patent portfolio compared to its competitors. Having access to the new patents from Google could help it shore up its defences in its disputes with Apple.

In addition to the HTC lawsuit, Apple has filed suits against Samsung and Motorola. It has instigated the banning of Samsung tablets in Australia and Europe.