HTC files patent infringement case against Apple

HTC seeks a ban on importation and sale of a range of Apple products including Macs, iPhones, and iPads

HTC has filed a lawsuit against Apple for allegedly infringing on three patents, the latest in the legal battle raging between the companies.

In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware on Monday, HTC is seeking damages and a ban on sale and importation of infringing Apple products in the U.S., according to court documents. HTC is alleging that Apple is infringing on its patents in a range of products that include Macintosh computers, the iPad, the iPhone, and Apple TV.

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HTC  also filed a complaint against Apple on Tuesday with the United States ITC (International Trade Commission) on the same patents, the company said with a statement. HTC is taking action to protect itself, customers, and "industry partners," the company said in a statement.

"This is the third case before the ITC in which Apple is infringing our intellectual property. Apple needs to stop its infringement of our patented inventions in its products," said Grace Lei, general counsel of HTC, in the statement.

Taiwan-based HTC makes phones and tablets based on Google's Android, an OS also used by other prominent phone makers such as Samsung, Motorola and LG Electronics. Apple is already engaged in a patent battle against Motorola and Samsung in different countries. Apple has settled a patent dispute with one of the other top phone makers, Nokia, which is basing its future phone strategy around Microsoft's Windows Phone OS.

HTC accused Apple of violating patent 7,765,414, patent 7,672,219, and patent 7,417,944, which are tied to communication between systems and wireless devices.

This is the latest lawsuit between the companies in an ongoing patent dispute as the companies try to gain an upper hand in the mobile device market. Apple has filed multiple lawsuits against HTC, including a suit in March last year for allegedly infringing on 20 patents. HTC and Apple have also exchanged patent infringement complaints with the U.S. International Trade Commission.

HTC is also bulking up its intellectual property portfolio. Last month, it announced plans to acquire graphics chip maker S3 Graphics from Via Technologies for US$300 million. HTC will get S3 Graphics' portfolio of 235 patents and pending applications, including many related to graphics. On July 1, an ITC judge ruled that Apple infringed on some S3 Graphics graphics patents.

HTC's lawsuit was filed the same day Google entered into an agreement to acquire Motorola Mobility for about $12.5 billion. Neither Apple nor HTC officials immediately responded to requests for comment.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.