Apple files suit against HTC again, this time over recently added Sense UI features

Apple files suit against HTC again, this time over recently added Sense UI features
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, or we 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.

source: PRIORsmART via TechCrunch



1. jundibasam

Posts: 119; Member since: Aug 05, 2009

Apple is ridiculous. When will Steve Jobs lose his liver again? Apple is the epitome of an anti-competitive, highly aggressive, and unethical corporation...basically, they're the Microsoft of the 1990's but now its the 2010. If they didn't have so many Obama contributors, the Justice Department would've slapped them with an anti-trust lawsuit months ago.

5. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

Again, can we leave the politics out of PHONEarena unless it's relevant, please? Why does any of that matter when Apple has been around and doing things like this waaaay before you learned to hate Obama (You know, when the DOJ was under Bush and nothing was done then either)? But I agree with you that Apple doesn't like competition. Let it go Apple, just let it go!

6. ilia1986 unregistered

Consider if what apple says it's true - that HTC did steal a patent which gives them a certain advantage - what would YOU do if you were in Steve's shoes? Just being practical here. Believe me that it might look ugly, but in the real world - it IS ugly. And often a lot uglier than that. Thats called business. And as long as something is legal and profitable - it will be done. Will Apple screw it's public image because of this? No. Is there a chance this lawsuit will result in a loss of an advantage in a competitor's company? Yes. like I said - business.

11. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Sorry guys, if Apple patented it, they patented it. That's how it works. Just because you guys hate Apple doesn't mean it's okay (if htc really did steal their idea)

12. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

What advantage would HTC gain from Leap? I can't see anyone, not even one person saying to themselves "I like that leap feature so much that I'll forego that new iPhone and get the HTC instead." Apple recognizes that HTC is their biggest threat and they simple want to stop their progress by an means. Let it go Apple.

13. ilia1986 unregistered

Well first of all ANYTHING that is part of your rival company - even their coffee machine for their workers - which can be legally eliminated - should be done so. This is not even business. This is basic common sense. Second of all - a direct quote from you sir - "Apple recognizes that HTC is their biggest threat and they simple want to stop their progress by an means". Now I ask you - what's wrong with that? What would you have done if you were in Steve's shoes? Why is that so bad in one company having the desire and means to harm another one? This is how the real world works. Especially if there is indeed a patent stolen being involved. You somehow choose to see Apple as the Big Evil giant that is trying to crush a small little helpless HTC. Don't. Sentimentality has no place in the business world. And I can assure you that whatever apple does - whether they even win or lose in the case - they won't hurt their public image. And they will still sell iDevices like crazy.

14. phonedemocracy

Posts: 98; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

The problem is not so much as the defense of patents, but of such broad worded patents such as Apple's patent of Leap. Like the article states, you can describe half the UI's on phones with their description. So just because Apple made "a system for real-time adaptation to changes in display configuration" means noone else can ever adapt or use an adaptable display configuration? Fuck no. Patents should be fairly specific, in regards to technology. And its not like Apple didn't copy HTC's designs either. But they were over real technology, no this bullshit.

18. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

Thank you. Their patents are so broad they'll be saying they have a patent on water or electricity pretty soon. If someone steals your idea, then fine have at it. But this is just petty! And to answer ilia1986's question, what would I do if I were in Steve's shoe...I would make a better phone! If he did it once, why can't he just do it again? Nothing about Leap screams iPhone. Its just a simple, great idea the good ole Steve wants to take credit for. Lastly, don't mistake how I see things. I know how big both companies are and no one is saying Apple is a big evil giant. I, like other people here, am just seeing this the way it is. It's petty.

19. ilia1986 unregistered

Why would you want to make a better phone when you just shipped the best iPhone model to date - which itself is a big leap (no pun intended) since the original iPhone. It's not that Steve is doing this to increase demand in his phone - he's already selling insane numbers of it. He's doing this to legally liquidate the opposition. These are 2 different things. And you can't possibly expect Apple to have every iPhone model be as innovative as the first one was. The first one was a true revolution. To have every model be as revolutionary as the first one, would cause Apple to release a new iPhone model every 5 - 10 years if at all. And I watched Steve on several interviews and speeches now. He's not the kind of guy who does things in a careless way. Every move he does has been thought about and calculated beforehand. And if he sues HTC, its not because he just woke up in the morning and said "Hey my ego is down, lets sue someone!".

20. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

Huh? Why make a better phone, really? To stay a step ahead of the competition. The new iPhone looks great but lets be honest, the HTC Evo is still the winner and that is the center of this lawsuit. Yes, the iSheep will be out in droves to buy the iPhone 4, but if "legally liquidating the opposition" was truly the goal, wouldn't they release the iPhone to the rest of the big 4? I suspect a motive for the lawsuit is Apple knows the only reason to buy an iPhone is because of its UI. Out of the box, Apple still makes the best UI on any phone with Sense being an extremely close second, but HTC is gaining on it. There have been sevaral new Android devices that can do everything the iPhone 4 can do, and in most cases they do it better. (IE: Video calling) So I'm sure they thought carefully about this lawsuit because their UI is all they've got. And again I say, they're being petty.

21. ilia1986 unregistered

Well first of all - the only real advantge of the Evo is the huge screen. There are 2 reasons why the iPhone 4 doesn't have a larger screen: 1. Not everyone wants a bigger screen - as it will make the iPhone less comfortable in the pocket. 2. Apple doesn't want people being confused between the iPhone and the iPad. A bigger screen could hurt iPad sales. And when you say iSheep you refer to people who will buy anything just because apple made it, right? But let me tell you - there is no way in hell that all the 3 million people who bought iPads till now, and the 600k who pre-ordered the iPhone 4 - not to mention the millions who bought the previous 3GS model - even if a lot of them are from the same crown - are all iSheep. There is a limit to how many 100% loyal irrational consumers can one company have. As for making the iPhone competition-proof - as I said - the sales kinda show that. In addition - there is a new iPhone model coming every year. When the 3GS was released people said it didn't bring anything new - but still bought it like crazy. But they still moaned and complained. Now the iPhone 4 does bring quite a lot of new features - and people are too buying it like crazy. But people of course still moan and complain why iPhone doesn't have X or why iPhone doesn't have Y. Its impossible to satisfy everyone. But from the sale figures - I think that Steve satisfies quite enough people out there.

22. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

No one is disputing any of that. I'm just saying this lawsuit is petty.

23. corps1089

Posts: 492; Member since: Jan 20, 2010

when politics learns to keep it's hands off my tech, then my tech opinions will cease to have any politics in them :)

2. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

And, I just bought a SENSE UI HTC ARIA and love it - screw apple and steve jobs...

3. zerglisk

Posts: 544; Member since: Feb 09, 2010

What the hell is Apple talking about? Sense UI is one of the best UI i ever used after using Apple's product. I cannot find anything between Apple's UI linking to the Sense UI at all.

4. paps511

Posts: 33; Member since: Mar 01, 2009

the link are the letters UI

7. bossmann20

Posts: 38; Member since: Mar 23, 2010

apple go kick bricks!!!!!

8. dahaka17

Posts: 61; Member since: Jun 08, 2010

i find it funny that apple is doing this when all apple does its take others ideas and slap an apple logo on it and call it innovative

9. theGodpapa

Posts: 181; Member since: Dec 15, 2009

sad they think that a simple browsing feature is turning the tide on them? Maybe they need to be more concerned about being revolutionary and trend setting again instead of playing catch up to other companies.

15. WirelessCritic

Posts: 7; Member since: Nov 30, 2009

I think being innovative is the least of their worries. They can do that by accident simply because everyone feels somehow "cooler" with an Apple product. That's why people spend thousands on MacBooks so they can sit @ Starbucks and surf the net with a $3000 dollar computer. Let us also not forget that if not for the iPhone, there would be NO Android, without the iPad there would be no talks of other Tablets coming out.

10. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Remember the fiasco in regards to APPLE computers suing APPLE records??

16. arqjav

Posts: 55; Member since: Dec 29, 2009

I don't know why HTC ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡if someone has the same UI as apple is LG and Samsung both company has the same UI is awful my stepdad has an LG GM730F that has the LG UI that is on top of windows 6.1 and the interaction is horrible. Soo I ask why HTC and not LG or Samsung. I like the Samsung Galaxy S and Android but one thing I don't like is that UI on top of Android, is the same theme as apple, sue them.

17. PhoneUser

Posts: 78; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

REALLY??? Come on this is just getting stupid for Apple. Did McDonald sue Burger King cause they "stole" the Hamburger idea from them or vis versa.... Did Star Bucks Sue McDonald's cause they took the "Ice Coffee" drink.....NO they didn't(and if they did...i didn't hear bout it LOL) Did BofA sue Chase cause they "stole" their ATM's with checks being printed on the receipt? Come on, people are going to create similar things to compete with every other company out there.....its called BUSINESS!!! Does it sucks YES!!! but its what happens on a daily basis. They said " we think competition is healthy" IF they really believed this then they wouldn't be tripping cause someone made something similar to their product. Phonearena also reported that " Apple's patent sounds broad enough to cover almost anything that can take place with the lay out..." and i agree with the people that say that in the Tech world you need to be more specific with every little detail in order to be able to patent something. Leaving ideas broad can create conflict like this, so in order to avoid situations like this they need to write down every little thing in order for them to call something their own. I also don't see ANYTHING on the Android phones that resemble Apple... maybe HTC should counter sue with the fact that Apple is now letting iphone user put a background picture...or who ever came up with that idea should sue. Kinda stupid right???

24. corps1089

Posts: 492; Member since: Jan 20, 2010

yeah, especially since HTC has been making smartphones longer than Apple. I'm sure that they have more patent shots to fire in this war which is clearly in keeping the inevitable iPhone killer off the US shores. HTC should just buy Apple to own their patents [which should not have been awarded and were given irresponsibly by some most likley back room non-techie beaurocrat], and then fire Jobs to rub it in. :P

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