back to article Apple flings patent lawsuit at HTC (again)

Apple has ratcheted up its attack on Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC, filing a second patent-infringement complaint that, if successful, could bar HTC products from being imported into the US. The complaint was filed with US International Trade Commission (USITC) on Friday, Bloomberg reports, and was revealed in a brief …

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  1. cnapan
    Pint

    HTC: Has demonstrated innovation, therefore a target

    HTC is one of the thorns in the side of Apple, because it produces products which give an experience which shows Apple's products a trick or ten.

    Therefore it must be crushed!

    I like HTC's products. They give me a good alternative to the world of Apple, and anything that helps keep itunes out of my life is a good thing.

    1. teknopaul Silver badge

      wot no widgets

      here here, Apple is not the market leader in phone tech these days, perhaps they can win a law suit to prove they were.

    2. RegisterThis

      Plus HTC Sense attacks Apples UI USP

      The common criticisms of Android are those of fragmentation, and ironically, lack of differentiation!

      Of all those in the Android camp, HTC is the one pushing the boundary the most with respect to 'skinning' and changing the Android experience into something unique (and fragmented!). I don't know if I have just noticed it, but HTC is really using 'sense' in all sorts of taglines and contexts to push themselves as providing an intelligent and adaptive user experience where the phone knows what you want.

      HTC is changing the UI agenda slowly from 'intuitive' (i.e. you know just how to do it), to 'sensible' (i.e. it knows what you want). This is what Apple is scared of: they have had the monopoly of user experience so far and it has been their USP and 'sense' is a direct attack on 'it just works simplicity'.

      1. Rob
        Headmaster

        sorry, slight correction...

        ... Apple has never been the leader in phone technology, but they have been a leader in UI and design.

        Still saying that I have been buying HTC products since their debut on Orange with the SPV, so I'm definately a HTC fanboi.

  2. Stephen Gray

    Do Yanks do anything else?

    Litigate, litigate, litigate. Fanbois will buy Apple products because they like them, personally I'm ambivalent about their products, but they are starting to piss me off with ridiculous and frankly pointless lawsuits.

    1. Philip Lewis
      Headmaster

      Copy --> Litigate

      Copy, copy, copy. Fanbois will buy Apple products because they like them, personally I'm ambivalent about their products, but I like the fact that they are finally taking the Asian copy-cat manufacturers to task about their blatant infringment of patents. The Asians think intellectual property rights don't apply to them (live in Asia for a while and you will understand), and I applaud Apple for hammering them in the courts and international trade organisations.

      1. Bumpy Cat
        Stop

        @Copy --> Litigate - nothing new there

        Every market dependent on IP was previously the filthy pirates with no respect for IP. Europe did it, then the US - now they fanatically defend the concept of IP. Japan and then Korea copied IP freely*, but now they are both strong defenders of IP while Taiwan and China are the current thieves. In a decade or two it will be Vietnam and the Philippines doing the stealing while Taiwan and China fight to defend it.

        The greater problem here is that many of these patents are broken. They're too broad, too obvious, or have prior art, and to outside observers in the industry it looks ludicrous.

        * snigger

      2. karolbe

        HTC

        Actually HTC has longer history of producing smartphones than Apple...

    2. Daniel 1

      Truth is, I suspect everyone else in the market is "Quietly Ebullient" about it

      As a Device Manufacturer, rather than a badge-engineering shop, HTC is the most independent (and therefore least-liked, by the other players) in the existing market after Apple itself. There will be few at Samsung, or the Foxconn customers, who would risk what Apple is doing, but few who will be sorry to see it happen. Frankly HTC now appears to be feared by most others concerned.

      Myself, I admire Cher Wang, her company, its products, and its ambitions. The research going on in at the North Carolina site could yet yield results that its competitors end up having to license from it, just to compete, while the Seattle Software shop is making one of the best Android interfaces going. If anyone stands out as a potential 'fourth player', in its own right, then at present I'd say it was HTC - given that both current contenders for number three status, are in serious danger of sliding into irrelevance, anyway.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Really makes me wonder

    How much of that price tag for all these widgets and gizmos that we collect go back to pay for legal fees.

  4. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Devil

    I am not commenting.

    If I did it would never get through the moderators and posted because of the language I would use.

    I bought an HTC Android after comparing feature sets and looking at the way it operates in comparison with Apple. With an HTC I get multiple choices in "App Stores". With Apple I get one.

    Apple lost against Microsoft in court way back for 'stealing' Apples GUI. That precedent alone invalidates a third of the lawsuit against HTC. The remaining 2/3's is based on patents that should never have been granted. Keep pushing Apple. One day the Supreme Court will trash your "patents" in the way they should have been squashed by the Trade and Patent Office when they were applied for. One day (one hopes) common sense will rule again.

    1. Ralthor
      Happy

      I applaud.....

      ....your optimism.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why only Apple can't have patents?

      HTC also has patents and has also filed complaints against Apple. Now that it officially owns S3 it may even have stricken gold because Apple apparently needs two of S3's patents according to an ongoing ruling.

      Just wondering if that "common sense" world you suggest would be one sided - without Apple's patents because you have a declared vested interest in HTC winning - or if you are suggesting some ideal - peace and love - world without patents at all be it from HTC, Apple, etc.

      If it's the latter then do share the stuff your smoking good man.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Devil

        It does not work this way

        The S3 patents are already acknowledged and licensed by everyone who is doing something graphics related out there. This makes them different from the huge piles of patent ammunition kept for lobbing at each other in a courtroom. Even Intel licenses these (though it is on the cheap as it is cross-licensing).

        So most likely Apple already has a license and can "Smile and wave, smile and wave".

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Stop

        US Patents

        Apple gets US patents granted for things that have been open industry standards (or non-patent protected designs) for years. The iOS interface is a rip-off of Notes "chiclets" that have been around for 20 years, yet they got a patent for it because it's on a phone.

        Apple should be careful where they tread - they are as guilty of the non-competitive practices they complained (and litigated) that Microsoft were found guilty of over ten years ago. As has been shown, the other players a lining as a united defense against the corrupt US Patent system and Apple's use of what should be invalidated patents to scare off competition.

    3. Peter Murphy
      Stop

      I don't trust the current US Supreme Court to be sensible on anything...

      ... patents or otherwise. Many of their cases seem to be settled 5-4 as "Big Corporation GOOOD! Consumer BAAAD!" It's like they set out to be... not conservative per se, but _anti-egalitarian_.

      How does that work on Big Corporation versus not-so-Big Corporation?

      1. Vic

        Re: I don't trust the current US Supreme Court

        > How does that work on Big Corporation versus not-so-Big Corporation?

        Not relevant.

        What we have here is American corporation versus Not-American Corporation.

        Place your bets...

        Vic.

  5. Gil Grissum
    Pint

    What a joke

    Or could it be that The EVO 3D so thoroughly kicks the iPhones can that the only way they can compete is with a patent infringement lawsuit? How bout innovating for a change, Apple. Not everyone is your fan boy and these lawsuits won't win you new fan boys.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The article forgot to mention

    That HTC now owns S3, which previously filed 2 patent suits with ITC against Apple some time ago and whose legal cases where "ITC investigation of S3's complaint against Apple issued a notice of a final initial determination, according to which Apple was deemed to infringe two valid S3 patents."

    This is from the FOSS Patents blog. So we can go on and on trying to find who really fired the first shot. There's no good and evil players in this game, they are all the same.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    being neither an owner of a iPhone or an Android...

    why do most of the android phones look at least superficially similar to the iPhone? Who decreed that was the optimal size and shape for a smartphone?

    In the non-smartphone world we have all manner of shapes and sizes of phones - why do we not see the same in the smartphones?

    Apple in this case seems to be in the right - they came out with this design first. Why isn't there more variation from HTC?

    1. hoffmeister
      Stop

      Really?

      the Iphone looks very similar to the Sony Ericsson P800 with the keypad removed completely, the p800 was out 5 years before the iphone

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge
        Trollface

        really really?

        I think you'll find the Sony Ericsson P800 looks very similar to the Apple Newton, which was out 9 years before the P800.

    2. Craigness
      FAIL

      You're so wrong I wonder if you're being ironic

      The human hand and widescreen movie dimensions define the optimal size and shape of a smartphone. But whereas Apple only does 1 size/type, HTC has varied their offerings in both size (eg Wildfire, Desire, Desire HD) and form factor (eg Desire Z and Cha Cha). Apple didn't come out with these designs at all, let alone first. Only HTC has variation. In fact, you can even get a choice of operating system in HTC phones!

      As for the software, Apple has a boring grid of apps as the main way into the phone's functionality, all with the same size and shape of icon. HTC has widgets, differently sized icons and all sorts of different shapes (eg globe, bird, camera and torch shapes). Once HTC's apps menu is accessed it can be customised to display either as a grid or as a list. So again, the variation is with HTC.

      HTC has a neat, discreet notifications panel, with customisable notifications. Apple has copied this. HTC has a special menu for accessing the last few apps used. Apple has copied this. HTC always had wireless sync, Apple has now added wireless sync, The innovation is with Android.

      It's true that the apps being displayed in a grid and the settings being displayed in scrollable lists is common to both interfaces. But it's also common to the Orange SPV, way back in the day. Guess which company out of HTC and Apple made that one? But it was Microsoft which did the OS. The form factor of that one was dictated by the price, availability and performance of touch screen glass. In 2007 when Microsoft announced Surface, and Apple announced the less amazing iphone (which limited gestures to push, drag and pinch), this was cheap and accurate enough to make a phone out of.

      The one area where it seems Apple has a clear lead is propaganda. But technical and design innovation comes from all quarters.

    3. Stephen 10

      It's a valid question

      But I'd suggest you looked at the touch screen phone available in the years before Apple's iPhone, the format was already pretty well set, the only thing Apple added was an even thinner form factor (LG Prada not withstanding).

      It's an obvious solution and therefore should not receive US patent protection.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      how about...

      The Blue Angel, himalaya, Polaris, Artemis and countless more that HTC designed and sold that were about the same size/shape/form-factor? Not to mention the others that came with keyboards- including the large-screened (I.e. pretty tablet-like) HTC advantage. And what's this? The Advantage came out /before/ the iPad? Actually in the same year as the iPhone1 was released? Yeah, HTC clearly copied Apple.

    5. Eponymous Cowherd
      Facepalm

      One could ask....

      why the iPhone looks "superficially" like an O2 XDA (from 2002, 5 years before the iPhone).

      The answer is bleeding obvious. Its the same reason why a Samsung TV looks "superficially" like an LG TV and why a Ford Transit van looks "superficially" like a Renault Traffic. Can you work it out?

      Obviously you can't, or you wouldn't have made such a ridiculous comment, and your use of the boffin icon is laughable (well, I suppose there isn't a "numpty" icon, which would be more appropriate).

      1. ZootCadillac
        Thumb Up

        The O2 XDA

        That you reference is sat here on my table. Still in use. Apart from it being more like a small laptop in design, the swivel screen enabled it to be held very much like a candybar iphone. As you rightly point out, this was 5 years before the iphone. And in fact, in terms of functionality, the iphone at launch was very inferior to the XDA. The XDA did all that the iphone did at launch and very much more ( rear and forward facing cameras spring to mind)

        One other thing to keep in mind, the O2 XDA was just branded for that company. The manfactured name of this handset was the HTC Universal.

        HTC have been making phones that put the iphone to shame for years previously to Apple or any other manufacturer, be it android or windows, the handsets are technically superior years before Apple launches any of their next best gimmicks. These lawsuits never go anywhere because when looked at in the cold light of day it's easy to see, just by reason of timeline, who the 'copycats' have been.

      2. peter 45

        Icon

        I lament the passing of the 'Muppet' icon (actually I think it was a puppet troll, but i like Muppet better)

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      Rational response gets voted down

      I notice 7 downvotes for what is a perfectly rational and clear statement of an objective reality.

      Sadly, the comments section here is now a place for vitriol and worse, where reason, knowledge and observation are rewarded with the thumbs down. The Reg. comments section will soon have fallen to the level of The Inquirer, which is no longer visited (or written) by rational beings.

      HTC actually is not the worst of the Apple copy-cats, as they seem to have a foot in more than one camp.

      Dweeb

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        Haven't you heard?

        Form follows function. That's why a mug from Tesco looks just like one from Asda.

        Dweeb.

        P.S. I've downvoted you but NOT because I think you are a whiny little bitch but because your comments are meretricious doggerel.

    7. Richard Jones 1

      Pocket sizes?

      Anonymous Coward wrote about being neither an owner of an iphone or an andriod etc.

      Perhaps the size of so called smart 'phones is dictated by the size of people's pockets, hands, handbags, etc.? and the need to fit the bits inside the case.

      Having said that I see no point in either device whatever size they are. My experience of the excruciating apple 'services' would mean that if forced at gun point to take one or the other I would take the Android just to avoid apple but that is another story. (Getting shot would probably be better than having an apple device.)

    8. Gil Grissum
      Mushroom

      I don't think so

      Sorry, but my HTC EVO 4G doesn't look like an iPhone. HTC Sense doesn't look like the iPhone UI. The screen is bigger. And the EVO 4G had a rear facing camera and video chat long before the iPhone 4. And if I "hold it wrong", it doesn't drop calls. And by the way, Apple doesn't make an iPhone that has 3D or any form of 4G network speed. So really, your claim is invalid, as is Apple's lawsuit.

      1. KnucklesTheDog
        FAIL

        Really Really R... you get it

        Google the Seiko Epson Locatio (you'll need to stop google resolving it to "location") from 1999.

  8. mzilikazi

    android phones look at least superficially similar to the iPhone?

    Are you sure iPhones don't look similar to a Samsung F700?

    http://gigabyt3.com/news/item/did-apple-steal-the-iphone-design-from-samsung

    1. chr0m4t1c

      Er...

      Not this one again.

      The F700 was previewed *after* the iPhone and if you have a look for reviews still knocking around online you'll find many of them comment on how much it looks like the iPhone. The dates on that website for the F700 are wrong by 12 months and can be debunked with a tiny amount of research.

      See here for Slashgear's preview from the *2007* CeBIT.

      http://www.slashgear.com/slashgear-at-cebit-samsung-f700-hands-on-154328/

      Not that we want any facts to get in the way of a good Apple bashing.

  9. Bonzo the Wonder Dog
    Thumb Down

    I don't suppose there's

    any chance of Apple being declared a vexatious litigant?

  10. sleepy

    Business is war

    Microsoft / Apple was a copyright case based on "look and feel", not a patent case. But Sculley had licensed MS to use Mac GUI elements for Windows 1.0. The case failed because of this prior license and because look and feel is not copyrightable. So in future it's down to specific, nitty-gritty patents (not copyright) if you want to protect your designs. So we have patent wars.

    Apple runs its business in a particular way, which allows it to move its customers forward over the long term, but requires a protected space in which to function. What they do is very different to simply making one or two gadgets. HTC and Samsung are gadget makers, in that they have no long term plan or structure, and design their products for a market environment over which they have no control. It's Apple who broke the power of the carriers with a spectacularly innovative product, leveraging government-mandated inter-carrier competition to create a direct relationship with users.

    HTC made reasonably popular smartphones long before Apple, but now they all look just like iPhones. There is no doubt they, like Samsung, copied flagrantly. Apple has to protect the space in which it operates.

    Bill Gates and Microsoft pushed tablet computers for a decade. Despite monopoly power, they were unable to make significant sales. It's quite obvious Apple didn't copy these tablets, and has no monopoly, but iPad is a huge success, which everyone is copying. Apple's method of working has repeatedly enabled it to rescue technologies that were going nowhere and bring them into the mainstream (eg USB, WiFi).

    Apple is effectively the industry's first farmer; the others are hunters who simply exploit the market environment. They will kill the farmer and steal the contents of his barn if they can. Just as farming was the way forward, allowing culture and civilisation to become what it is, the way Apple does business is necessary for similar progress in the wired world. So far, no-one else has shown the required commitment to give up hunting for farming. But they will, because in the end, farming leaves no space for hunters.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      @Sleepy

      Keep sucking the Apple nipple of holyness....that way reality will not affect you.

      As for " rescue technologies that were going nowhere and bring them into the mainstream (eg USB, WiFi)." WTF?

      You do know who helped design USB? two little companies called Microsoft and Intel; Apple wanted firewire....

      As for inventing, the iPod was a piss poor imitation of Creatives stuff, but the marketing budget was bigger than Creatives by some huge magnitude, so eveyone belived it was superior (despite being DRM infected).

      PS even the iPod / iPad, name was ripped off from another touch screen device, the iPaq!

      What Apple do better than anyone is create hype...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        I suggest that 'Sleepy' changes his handle to 'Dopey'.

        I think it would be more appropriate.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        @AC 08:50 GMT

        So you criticise Sleepy for making a couple of points and then....talk bo11ox.

        Regardless of who 'helped design' USB can you name a mainstream manufacturer who was installing USB as standard on their shipping products before Apple launched the iMac? Go on - name one. There was only one printer available with USB at the time and that had all the other connectors on it too.

        As for Wifi. I cannnot remember another company pushing wifi before Apple introduced its Airport system. Yes there may have been products around but no-one was actually pushing them.

        So two points to Sleepy - Apple did bring them to mainstream.

        And the iPod. "a piss poor imitation of Creatives stuff". Did it look like Creative's stuff? Therefore not an imitation.

        And "(despite being DRM infected)." Where did you get that from?

        DRM didn't come about until the iTunes Store opened. Up until then you ripped your own music to put on your ipod and unless you had some magic DRM fairy of your own the music (and the iPod) was not DRM infected.

        The name - get your facts right for heaven's sake if you are going to criticise. The iPod name is way older than the iPaq. Go on, look it up. Apple may not have owned it at the time but it certainly wasn't ripped off from the iPaq - it doesn't even sound the same!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Mushroom

          Sorry what!?!

          Sleepy may not be completely on the ball with their comments but you are clearly in a reality of your own.

          I do concede the point that Apple has helped some technologies become more prevelant but I definately wouldn't say they pushed them to the mainstream. WiFi was in the wild before Airport and currently is far more popular than Airport as a product. USB was in the wild before Firewire and is currently far mroe popular then Firewire.

          The commonality on the above mentioned technologies is that they were all there before Apple brough it's own copycat product to the market. They are also far less popular, Firewire being a good example.

          Sleepy's comments about the Creative products are correct IMHO, they did have superior techonology in their devices than the original iPod just like smartphones from HTC were far superior in hardware and functionality than the original iPhone when it launched. Apple has been for years in catchup mode technology wise, they were a company on the brink of oblivion at one point, so much so they had a capital investment from MS. Apple is successful in designing a case for a product, they usually fail miserably in actual hardware innovation.

        2. a33a
          Trollface

          What are the odds?

          What are the odds of (AC 11:45GMT) being "Sleepy" ?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Happy

            £1,000,000 says he isn't

            Want to take it on?

        3. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          Fanboy silliness.

          > Regardless of who 'helped design' USB can you name a mainstream manufacturer who was installing USB as standard on their shipping products before Apple launched the iMac? Go on - name one.

          Intel.

          Intel was bundling USB ports on motherboards before fanboys thanked St. Steve for giving them no option except for a technology that had not fully matured yet. SCSI and ADB were perfectly fine. There was really no reason to discard them and force the issue.

          Fanboys love to conflate "strip everything else out" with "being the first to offer".

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @ Jedidiah

            You have a point there but miss the poster's point.

            Intel were putting USB on Motherboards - but were Dell and all the others shipping finished systems with them?

            USB was launched in 1994 but I don't recollect seeing a USB port until I saw the first iMac in 1998.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Mushroom

      Ditto

      Ditto.

      Dweeb

  11. D. Suse
    Thumb Down

    Aggressive company = loser company

    Apple and Microsoft are quite the tag-team, taking turns attacking Google in particular and open-source and other hardware manufacturers in general. If this "sue everyone else" strategy is allowed to continue, soon they will be the only two IT companies left. Then, they can squander all of their ill-gotten loot in a final battle for mutual annihilation. A "legal arms race"; THAT'S real innovation at work. . . . . .

    Continuing to purchase the products of "corporate legal predators" like Apple and Microsoft is effectively condoning (and supporting) these anticompetitive practices. Consumers are certainly free to make up their own moral rules for purchasing products (for example, to reject doing business in any form with companies that show an anticompetitive pattern of aggressively attacking others). That way the "nice guys and girls" of the business community could be helped to finish first, not last.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well good luck with that

      Unless you buy your phone made by Joe down the road (and even then) there will always be a "corporate predator" involved. Do you really think HTC (e.g. sued Samsung, even sued a US city! - Georgetown), Samsung (e.g. suing AU Optronics over patents, another two sided war) et all are nice guys?

      While the phone war is a grand scale (not surprising, there have been legal battles over phones since their very invention) and the more publicised, any large company will act like a legal predator, you just don't usually see it on the news you read.

      1. a33a

        HTC Sued Georgetown?

        I decided to look up this spurious claim of yours. HTC did sue Georgetown. Only this HTC is known as Horry Telephone Cooperative and NOT High Tech Computer.

        http://www.gtowntimes.com/story/HTC-sues

    2. Steve Todd
      FAIL

      Apple don't have anything against open source

      They are quite large contributors to open source development (WebKit and CLang spring to mind), what they object to are other companies who use OS to implement ideas that they have patented.

      With Android Google took a lot of off the shelf OS code, bent the rules on other stuff (Java for example) and set about cloning iOS. The original release of Andoid was closer to RIM than Apple. They then told the world "you can have this for free BUT we don't indemnify you against patent claims for using it". It's hardly surprising that MS and Apple go after companies that do use it.

      1. Vic

        Re: Apple don't have anything against open source

        > (WebKit and CLang spring to mind)

        I don't know the origins of CLang, but Apple's contribution to WebKit wasn't done out of the kindness of their heart.

        WebKit was a fork of KHTML, which is LGPL-licenced. Apple had no choice but to release source. Indeed, they were roundly criticised at the time for keeping to the letter of the licence without releasing anything that could reasonably be back-ported into KHTML.

        Vic.

        1. Steve Todd
          FAIL

          @Vic - its SO easy to spot the rabid Apple haters and GPL fanbois

          of which you seem to be prime a member. Apple doesn't release their OS updates instantly and they're evil. Google won't release the source to Android 3 until some time towards the end of the year and that's just fine.

          Apple have released some significant bits of technology to OS. HTML canvas elements are an Apple invention for example. WebKit2 is a ground-up re-write, they could have kept that closed source if they'd wanted. OpenCL was developed by them and then handed for free to the Khronos group. Clang is a GCC replacement running on top of LLVM. It's designed to be used as a multi-threaded plug-in library with fast incremental compiles. Apple didn't invent it, but they liked the idea so they hired the major developer and pay him and others to continue working on it.

          Apple is a commercial company, they don't believe in giving all their technology away for free. At the same time they see the value of community development for certain types of software and have contributed back substantial amounts of effort.

          1. Vic

            You appear to be confusing me with someone else...

            > Apple doesn't release their OS updates instantly and they're evil

            Show me again where I even intimated that.

            My post was smiply about Apple's source distibution being a requirement of the licence and not altruism. I didn't claim they were evil.

            > Google won't release the source to Android 3 until some time

            > towards the end of the year and that's just fine.

            According to the Android licence, it is. That is why I dislike BSD-style licences.

            And as for the rest of your post - what on earth does it have to do with what I posted? It's not a reply, it's just a rant. You seem to ascribe an agenda to me which I simply don't have - and you'd known that if you'd spent more time reading what I wrote, and less time listening to the voices in yer heid.

            Vic.

  12. Winkypop Silver badge
    Gimp

    I like my iPhone

    Just saying.

    1. Ralthor
      Go

      I dont like your iphone.

      I like my android phone.

      But I upvoted you anyway because I do like your attitude. :)

    2. Ian Yates

      Nothing wrong with that

      But it would be nice if Apple didn't try to enforce the revisionism that the iPhone was a magical device with no precedent.

      Sure, it was a well-designed and refined product (especially given the state of things like Symbian at the time), but I think the revolution was actually in placing the consumers' experience over the developers' (and Apples over that).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Ian Yates

        ISTM Apple are just operating as any other company doing business in the US at the moment.

        What's odd is that every time we see a story saying <Mobile Phone Company X> files against Apple the comments fill up with Fandroids saying "Ha! Take that Apple! You and your drooling fanbois will soon be history!".

        But, when Apple files against <Mobile Phone Company X>, the comments fill up with the same people saying Apple are evil baskets who should just leave their favourite Android handset manufacturer alone.

        Yet no-one appears to see the irony of claiming anyone buying any Apple product is a religious zealot while attacking them with an almost religious fervour of their own.

        It's jolly interesting; do carry on.

        1. Gil Grissum
          Pint

          Zealots

          That's because Apple Fanboys are technology zealots. But then there are zealots in other camps too, including Android, although i don't think the 6 Windows Phone users or the 5 Palm Web OS users count as Zealots. There aren't enough of them for that. :-)

          I think the zealotry comes from the product working well for the customer and meeting their expectations. I have an HTC EVO 4G but while it meets most of my needs, definitely not all. So I can't claim to be an Android fan boy. I'm not loyal to any company's technology. I use what works for me. If a product falls short, I am not going to be religious about it. The only exception would be my current gaming mouse (Saitek Cyborg Rat 7). The thing is an absolute accurate beast of a mouse that works for me.

  13. Lyndsay Williams

    Microsoft were offered the oldest of these patents in 1998 but declined it

    Microsoft was offered the oldest of one of these 5 patents in 1998, the BT one mentioned here, http://tinyurl.com/65c4ud3. They declined it - the phone had no keyboard .

    Lyndsay Williams

  14. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Jobs gone mad!

    I dare him to try and sue the countless Chinese clone makers, now! Lets see what patents he comes up with, against them.

    Please St. Jobs. DO that. Will make interesting reading then.

  15. peter 45
    Thumb Up

    Sowing uncertainty?

    "Apple's latest patent-infringement complaint against HTC is as much about sowing uncertainty ..."

    Well that has just created certainty in my mind. I have been mulling over an iphone or an HTC Sensation. Hopefully my little contribution to HTC funds will help them fight and will not be funding any patent hostage payment.

  16. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Down

    Corporate pissing contest

    That's all this is.

    And the real loser is the consumer.

  17. croaker
    Black Helicopters

    Just stop selling to the US market

    If all these non-US companies just stopped shipping to the US the problem would go away.

    No litigation to worry about and (eventually) the dim-witted US citizen would realise they're missing out and force a change to the frankly stupid patent system.

    Easy

  18. Drefsab
    FAIL

    meh

    Just one more reason why I wont be buying any apple products. I love how so many people get all up in arms defending apple claiming people are ripping apple off on the design of the phone and features.

    Touch screen and smart phone have been around for ages, hell apple weren't even the first to put the letter i at the beginning of the name. the iPaq (made by HTC) was out years before the iPhone, so many touchscreen devices made by HTC and other companies looked like the iphone before the iphone existed.

    Having the UI of a grid of icon's, is something operating systems have been doing for years, why is it something special when the same UI eliments are found in a phone OS? But then again phone OS's have been doing it before the iphone did that as well.

    Don't get me wrong apple may have had some innovation im not aware of but the key points and features people keep coming up with were done be other people before apple so from what I see they are ripping other people off. Maybe apple were the first ones to get patents against certain obvious and commonly used things but that just shows that patents are badly flawed. Just look at the patent on the app store thing, programs and applications have been called app's for years, a place to buy them has been called stores, shops, markets etc. Its to obvious to patent but it doesn't stop people trying to.

    The only person that really suffers is the consumer, all that money apple are spending in lawsuits they could have put into bringing forward the release of the next model of phone and possibly being able to compete spec wise with other devices, or they could QA test their new devices so we don't see things like loss of signal because your holding it wrong issues of the last generation.

    Currently with the patents they have its almost likely that both companies are infringing on each other, I would laugh my ass off if some judge decided to hell with it your both infringing on each other neither of you can sell your phones or tablets, that would serve the US market right for allowing this patent mess to get so bad in the first place.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Just a couple of corrections

      "hell apple weren't even the first to put the letter i at the beginning of the name. the iPaq (made by HTC) was out years before the iPhone,"

      Neither was iPaq - developed by DEC, made by Compaq (then HP) - only HTC claims to have invented it (along with the palm) when the truth is that they probably manufactured it for Compaq.

      And the Apple Newton predates them.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Meh

    I've said it before..

    and I'll say it again. If there were so many phones which looked and worked like the iPhone before why is it that none of them sold the bigillions that Apple did? Pure marketing? No, although that certainly plays a part and again why is it wrong for a business to be good at selling things? If HTC marketed as well as Apple does would they suddenly be "evil" or just "successful"?

    Fact is Apple implemented a set of things which existed before but not put together in such a way that worked so well. Its like saying "sure there were cars before the Ferrari F40, look they had wheels and everything". Doesn't mean every car is as well implemented and packaged.

    This doesn't make them evil, or thieves or anything else, it makes them very clever and the fact is that every company immediately started falling over themselves to do something similar and anyone who says otherwise is simply deluding themselves.

    As to the actual patents, they are all after each other for something or another, no company is any better or worse than the other so get over it.

    1. Wang N Staines

      Ford

      A Ford Mondeo is better made than the Ferrari F40.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        No actually, it's not

        Most cars that come off the F1 production line at Ferrari are better made than a Ford Mondeo.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    I love it.

    If this keeps up, there'll be a deadlock where no-one will be able to import ANYTHING in to the US because everyone will be found to be breaching everyone elses patents!!!

    There are so many different technologies in a smart phone that it must surely be patent and licensing hell.

    Love it, love it, love it. Just what they deserve.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Well well well

    Nothing succeeds like success.

    For all the partisanship about consumer devices, the histrionics over my toy train is better than yours, the ill-informed opinions over who was first, last, legal, illegal, nice, nasty ...., Apple are successful. We all know about iphones and ipads, even if we do not have one. Most people have got no idea what models other manufacturers make or sell, nor even the names of the others except Nokia. Even you haters and denigrators seem to be experts on how they work and look. That is success.

    Most invention is not in the context of a blank. Most, probably all, is the result of hard work and building on existing ideas and technology. That way, an invention has a better chance of being useful and working. It also tends to satisfy a real need or desire. There is nothing wrong with improvement or new combinations or interpretations, nor even with recognising and developing a new market.

    Do you refuse to bake a loaf of bread because somebody else has done it before? Do you complain to your neighbour because she baked a loaf with wholemeal wheat, because it looks remarkably similar to the white one you baked yesterday?

    If HTC or whoever are so brilliant, why did they not clean up in the market all those years ago when they "invented" your favourite feature?

    Never mind the whys and wherefores. Apple are supremely good at what they do and provide a good device to their customers. If you want to use something else, wonderful. It could even be that your something else is better, at least for you.

    Accept that all companies invest a lot in their research and development. Accept that the results are the main differentiator in a crowded market using a lot of common parts. Then consider just how, in a world where some makers are in areas that do not yet observe or enforce the concepts of intellectual property, patents and so on, a manufacturer can safeguard his investment.

    Now go away and grow up. If you are jealous, become a patent lawyer or agent and enjoy it.

    Meanwhile, let's start a war about whose device draw the prettiest alphabet or whose pasteurised milk is the best pasteurised.

    1. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      Fanboy silliness.

      If nothing succeeds like success, then Apple shouldn't need to bother with litigation.

      They should just allow their product and their marketing team compete in the free market and let the customer decide what is really "superior".

      The fact that they want to take choice away from us only shows us a fundemental lack of confidence in their own product.

  22. g e

    Good for HTC

    That crapple consider them such a serious threat to their business that they're willing to go to these lengths

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    I am looking at my HTC right now ...

    ... and It doesn't look like an iPhone. It doesn't feel like one, either.

    One (though NOT the most important) of the reasons I bought it -- so I wouldn't be mistaken for an iDiot.

    Apple are insane. Often the outcome of unbridled greed.

  24. sleepy

    just to be clear

    I didn't claim moral superiority for Apple's business model; just tried to remind people of it. USB for examole was dead in the water, despite being on most new Wintel PC's, until Apple shipped the iMac with no alternative interface. And that was a humiliating thing to do when Apple's own firewire was a far superior system.

    I'm fine with people resenting Apple's success and profitability.

    And if HTC is so wonderful, read this:

    http://www.phonedog.com/2011/07/11/why-i-switched-from-my-thunderbolt-to-an-iphone-4/

    1. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      USB was in the dulldrums for a very long time.

      USB was "dead" for a very long time even after Apple's alleged "intervention".

      It was "dead" because it was new technology and it was trying to displace a lot of old technology.

      It took awhile for USB vendors to figure out what to do with it and it also took a long time for related technologies to progress. In a lot of ways, many people haven't even gotten past those original basics. This is especially true of blithering Apple fanboys that try to give Apple Corp too much credit for USB.

      USB didn't really take off until it was well supported by Windows.

      All Apple's forcing the matter did was to make USB like ADB which is not saying much really.

      1. sleepy

        sorry, wrong

        USB was in later editions of Windows 95, and mandated in new PC's at that time. But USB was going nowhere until Apple delivered a captive market for USB devices with the USB-only iMac in mid 1998.

        1. ZootCadillac
          Facepalm

          so that's what you've got

          in defence of Apple? They brought USB to the world? I think not. prior to 96 USB was in pre-release and testing so was never going to be widespread. As of its first release version it was limited and few devices were made to use it because of those limitations. Those limitations were fixed in 1.1 and it was that, The release of win98 and the fact that you could not buy a PC motherboard without USB1.1 in 98 that saw it take off and make device manufacturers take note. Apple were just one of those device manufacturers.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Patents

    Has Jobs filed patents for the faulty Antenna? We can then all sue Apple for all our faulty antennaes.

    AT least the manufacturers wont blame the consumers (for holding it in a strange way) like Apple does.

    1. sleepy

      There's nothing wrong with the antenna.

      There never was, beyond the fact that it's a compromise. As is every other cellphone antenna design.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "There's nothing wrong with the antenna"

        ****BZZZZZT! FANBOI REVISIONIST BULLSHIT DETECTED!!!!****

        If there 'was nothing wrong with the antenna' then why the fuck did St. Jobs give away all those free cases, and hastily change the way that iOS shows signal strength?

  26. Ben Rosenthal
    Meh

    get used to it

    if your company is not patent trolling now, then you are going to be at a disadvantage when your competitors inevitably turn up cap in hand.

  27. ZootCadillac
    Devil

    you will never

    convince a fanboy that all that Cupertino does, and has ever done, is take what the competitors are doing, give it less functionality, put it in a shiny case, slap a huge price on it then market it as the second coming to the already converted.

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