Apple today filed a lawsuit against mobile devices maker HTC. The suit claims infringement of 20 patents related to the iPhone’s user interface, underlying architecture, and hardware.
In the release, Steve Jobs says, “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.”
It looks like the Nexus One, and other HTC phones, may have hit too close to home for Steve Jobs. Maybe adding multitouch to the Nexus One pushed Apple over the edge?
When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone, he touted its multitouch screen, then said, “And boy, have we patented it.” Since then, the Pre and Android based phones have used multitouch technology. Looks like Apple is ready to swoop in and stop them.
Gizmodo took a long look at Apple’s multitouch patent last June as it related to Palm’s use of multitouch. The basic conclusion: Palm can use some multitouch functions, but not all of the multitouch functions of the iPhone. If Palm used all at once, then it would be in violation.
Basically, Apple’s patent lawyers are going to be busy for the next year or so.
Here’s Steve introducing multitouch:
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