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Summary:

Apple is ratcheting up its patent war against HTC, filing a new complaint with the ITC seeking the ban of “personal electronic devices.” The filing comes after an initial complaint lodged against HTC last year and a similar case filed last week by Apple against Samsung.

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Apple is ratcheting up its patent war against HTC, filing a new complaint with the International Trade Commission seeking the ban of more “personal electronic devices” including tablets. The new filing comes after an initial complaint lodged against HTC last year and a similar case filed last week by Apple against Samsung.

It shows Apple is keeping up the pressure on Android manufacturers and is intent on pursuing its claims, even in the face of setbacks. The ITC staff recently recommended denying Apple’s first complaint against HTC, though a final ruling is expected Aug. 5. The ITC has 30 days to decide whether to investigate Apple’s latest complaint.

The latest skirmish raises the stakes for HTC in particular and Android manufacturers in general. This is, according to patent expert Florian Mueller, the 48th lawsuit or complaint against an Android maker and there’s little sign that the claims won’t keep coming. As we’ve discussed recently, there is a full court press on against Android being pushed by companies like Apple, Microsoft and Oracle that could have serious implications on Android if the separate intellectual property claims start to pile up.

The dispute between Apple and HTC has taken on a new dimension with HTC’s announced purchase of S3 Graphics. The ITC determined that Apple infringes on patents owned by S3, which helps improve HTC’s previously weaker IP standing. HTC has also countered Apple’s complaint last year with a case of its own with the ITC that sought to ban iPhone, iPad and iPod touch sales. But with HTC releasing more devices, including the Flyer tablet, it has given Apple another chance to assert new patent claims against the Taiwanese manufacturer.

Apple may be giving up on its first complaint and is hoping to do more damage with a second case against HTC. Or it could be that Apple needs to keep up the pressure in light of the S3 ruling. But either way, it means the patents wars show no signs of letting up, and Apple in particular could be ramping up to go after more Android makers.

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  1. Why is it that when other companies go after Apple’s patent infringements, they are chastised for it? Yet, I hear no complaints from the blogosphere when Apple goes after others.

    This is not directed at you, Kevin. It is more of a general question.

    1. Sorry, I meant Ryan.

    2. Didn’t you know ?. ( haven’t been brainwashed with marketing yet ? )

      Apple invent everything. Everthing else is an Apple imitation.

      Seriously but. It’s true what you say.

      Apple marketing is why people believe ……

      mp3 players are rip off’s of the iPod.

      Apple invented the touch screen. ( even thou NintenoDS was around , and in actual fact touch screens have been around since the 70’s)

      Apple invented the tablet .

      etc… etc….

      Their marketing is winning with mindless morons who like the product they have bought. (which is no shame , Apple products are pretty sound up to a point) But they believe all the complete utter fanboy bull that also comes with it.

    3. Because when Microsoft finds HTC’s Android devices in violation of their patents (to pick a fairly recent example), they sit down and hammer out a reasonable deal. By contrast, when Apple goes after someone for patent violations their goal is to stop other companies from using their patents at all — which makes Apple feel sort of like a black hole of invention, because anything they really do patent can’t ever spread to the rest of the industry in any reasonable amount of time.

      For example, the magnetic power adapter is a terrific addition to a laptop — major props to Apple. It solves a major problem that causes a significant percentage of all laptop failures. But the only way it will spread to the whole industry is (A) by waiting another 15 years or however long until the patent expires, or (B) if Apple succeeds in wiping out all other computer manufacturers so that they *are* the industry. That’s depressing.

      There are other companies known for scorched-earth licensing practices — for example, the only reason Nokia’s rep isn’t every bit as bad as Apple’s is that people in the US don’t know Nokia very well. Oracle is a black hole of IP to the point that they basically forced the rest of the OpenOffice community to fork the project (“LibreOffice”) because Oracle’s stewardship was so toxic.

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