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Tuesday, March 02, 2010, 06:30 am PT (09:30 am ET)

Apple sues HTC for alleged infringement of 20 iPhone patents [u]

Apple on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against rival handset maker HTC over the alleged infringement of 20 patents related to the iPhone's user interface, underlying architecture and hardware [updated with specific patents].

The suit was officially filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission and in a U.S. District Court in Delaware. Apple announced the lawsuit in a press release.

"We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We've decided to do something about it," said Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. "We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."

Update: Revealed in the lawsuit are the patents in question. They are entitled:
  • No. 7,362,331: "Time-Based, Non-Constant Translation Of User Interface Objects Between States"
  • No. 7,479,949: "Touch Screen Device, Method, And Graphical User Interface For Determining Commands By Applying Heuristics"
  • No. 7,657,849: "Unlocking A Device By Performing Gestures On An Unlock Image"
  • No. 7,469,381: "List Scrolling And Document Translation, Scaling, And Rotation On A Touch-Screen Display"
  • No. 5,920,726: "System And Method For Managing Power Conditions Within A Digital Camera Device"
  • No. 7,633,076: "Automated Response To And Sensing Of User Activity In Portable Devices"
  • No. 5,848,105: "GMSK Signal Processors For Improved Communications Capacity And Quality"
  • No. 7,383,453: "Conserving Power By Reducing Voltage Supplied To An Instruction-Processing Portion Of A Processor"
  • No. 5,455,599: "Object-Oriented Graphic System"
  • No. 6,424,354: "Object-Oriented Event Notification System With Listener Registration Of Both Interests And Methods"
  • No. 5,481,721: "Method For Providing Automatic And Dynamic Translation Of Object Oriented Programming Language-Based Message Passing Into Operating System Message Passing Using Proxy Objects"
  • No. 5,519,867: "Object-Oriented Multitasking System"
  • No. 5,566,337: "Method And Apparatus For Distributing Events In An Operating System"
  • No. 5,929,852: "Encapsulated Network Entity Reference Of A Network Component System"
  • No. 5,946,647: "System And Method For Performing An Action On A Structure In Computer-Generated Data"
  • No. 5,969,705: "Message Protocol For Controlling A User Interface From An Inactive Application Program"
  • No. 6,275,983: "Object-Oriented Operating System"
  • No. 6,343,263: "Real-Time Signal Processing System For Serially Transmitted Data"
  • No. 5,915,131: "Method And Apparatus For Handling I/O Requests Utilizing Separate Programming Interfaces To Access Separate I/O Service"
  • No. RE39,486: "Extensible, Replaceable Network Component System"

While HTC primarily makes handsets running Windows Mobile, the company has also made a number of high-profile phones based on the Google Android mobile operating system. In addition to the first Android phone, the G1, HTC was also behind the recently released Nexus One, which features multi-touch technology.

The lawsuit is yet another filed with the ITC with Apple's name featured prominently on it. In recent months the iPhone maker has sued Nokia, and is also being sued by the Finnish handset maker. The ITC has agreed to look into both companies' complaints of patent infringement.

The ITC has also begun investigating claims made by Kodak against Apple. The camera company has alleged that Apple is in violation of patents that relate to the previewing of images, and processing them at different resolutions.