Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How Do You Know When You're Doing Well? When the Competition Sues You!

Gizmodo reports that Apple is suing handset manufacturer HTC (makers of the G1, Nexus One, myTouch, Hero, and Tattoo) for copyright infringement on 20 patents, such as:

The ‘849 Patent, entitled "Unlocking A Device By Performing Gestures On An Unlock Image," was duly and legally issued on February 2, 2010 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘849 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit C.

As many comments over there have pointed out, the suit looks completely ridiculous, mostly based on the absurdly broad language of the patents. If Apple could show that HTC was engaged in corporate espionage, and snuck into their labs one night and stole a bunch of code and hardware, that would be one thing. But this just looks like a case of "Look! They made a touchscreen smartphone too!"

I would hope that HTC countersues and wins. This kind of practice just seems utterly desperate and frivolous. One the plus side, you can tell that Apple is obviously feeling threatened in the marketplace.

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