Apple has launched a patent infringement complaint that attempts to block the HTC Corporation from importing mobile phones, many of which run on Google Inc.'s Android mobile OS. The complaint says that HTC violated 20 patents related to technologies used in Apple's touch screen iPhone.
Apple's lawsuit represents the latest salvo in an escalating battle for control over smartphones and the gateway to the mobile Web, which they represent between Google and Apple. Apple's complaint also highlights the often argumentative nature of its smartphone output, where producers are attacking one another over patents.
Steve Jobs, Apple's Chief Executive said in a statement, "We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it." He added, "We've decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."
HTC builds a number of touch-screen devices that run on Google's Android operating system, including the G1. The company also builds phones, which run on Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Mobile software. In its complaint to HTC, Apple said, "The patents generally relate to software architectures, frameworks and implementations, including various aspects of software used to implement operating systems."
The patent situation complicates matters for many small companies and entrepreneurs who lack the expertise and financial means to go through historical patents before launching a new product or technology. Companies also have to wait and see the effect on the mobile industry in the UK before investing.
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