After a week of back-and-forth between Apple and Samsung, in which the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was first pulled from and then put back on the shelves, HTC has entered the courtroom drama stage-right to give Apple a taste of its own medicine.
In Washington yesterday, HTC's lawyers lodged a complaint with the US International Trade Comission, alleging that Apple is in violation of three of HTC's own mobile patents. Their demands: that the ITC block sales of the iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Mac computer altogether.
The company line being trotted out by HTC is eerily familiar to anyone who followed the Galaxy Tab case. "Apple needs to stop its infringement of our patented inventions in its products," says HTC General Counsel Grace Lei. "We are taking this action against Apple to protect our intellectual property, our industry partners, and most importantly our customers that use HTC phones."
"Competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours,” shot back Apple spokesperson Kristin Huguet. Guys, guys...
Of course, these companies sue each other all the time in cases that are practically passed down through legal firms from father to son, but Apple's recent (if short-lived) success with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 injunction was the first time in memory that there's been a true, high-profile win for any one company. Probably, nothing will come of it. Then again, in ten years time when we're huddled round, fanning stacks of burning smartphones to create smoke signals, perhaps we'll look back on these lawsuits as the beginning of the end.