Almost like a back and forth tennis match, Apple and HTC have been taking turns going at each other. Instead of a tennis court, this action is being taken out in another court-the court of law. Back in March, as we reported
, Apple sued HTC, claiming that the Taiwan based firm had infringed on 20 of its patents relating to the iPhone's UI, hardware and architecture. Steve Jobs said, "We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, orwe can do something about it. We’ve decided to do something about it,
we think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours." Some of the battle had to do with HTC's inclusion of multi-touch support in some of it's newer phones at the time-like the Hero. If you recall, Palm had been able to include it in the Pre and that gave HTC the confidence to include things like "Pinch-to-Zoom" on its models of the time. HTC fired back with a suit of its own, claiming that Apple had infringed on 5 of its patents. Now, the Cupertino based firm is back, claiming that HTC has violated 1 more of Apple's patents. The latter says that one of the new features on HTC's Sense UI called Leap, sounds like a patent Apple owns for a “system for real-time adaptation to changes in display configuration”. The patent was granted 8/28/01 and a continuation of the patent was awarded to the tech giant on 5/27/08. The Leap system allows owners of certain HTC phones to pinch their screen to see small thumbnail representations of the handset's other home screens and allows for a quick tap to change the homescreen that is front and center on the phone. Apple's patent sounds broad enough to cover almost anything that can take place with the lay out of a phone's settings. Before any lawyers step into a courtroom, both parties usually sit down at the negotiating table to try and avert a highly visible legal battle. Until then, the ball is in HTC's court and we shall see how the company decides to play the return volley.