HTC Confident on Apple iPhone Patent Infringment Lawsuit
(Reuters) - Cellphone developer HTC Corp said it is confident it can fight off a recent technology patent infringement lawsuit from iPhone maker Apple Inc and promised to issue a formal response in the next few weeks.
The comments released on Thursday follow a lawsuit from Apple earlier this month, accusing HTC of infringing on 20 iPhone related technology patents. HTC makes phones based on software from Apple's archrivals Google Inc and from Microsoft Corp.
Taiwan's HTC said it would use every means possible to fight off the suit.
"We feel confident in our innovation and our ability to defend ourselves in this case," Jason Mackenzie, vice president for HTC's U.S. business said in an interview.
Mackenzie declined to go into detail about how HTC will defend itself except to say the company would issue a formal response in the next few weeks.
"HTC strongly disagrees with Apple's actions. We plan to use all the legal tools we have at our disposal to both defend ourselves and set the record straight," Mackenzie said.
While Apple's lawsuit did not name Google as a defendant, the case was viewed by many analysts as a proxy for an attack on Google, whose operating system powers many phones made by HTC, including Nexus One, which Google sells directly.
Mackenzie declined comment on this aspect of the case and suggested directing such questions at Apple.
Apple's suit was filed with both the U.S. International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court in Delaware on March 2, and seeks to prohibit HTC from selling, marketing or distributing infringing products in the United States.
The complaint filed with the International Trade Commission said infringing products include Nexus One, which was launched in January, and other HTC phones such as the Hero, Dream and myTouch -- which run on Google's Android mobile software.
The executive said product innovation was one of the cornerstones around with HTC was founded in 1997.
He said the company had been first to market new product categories, including its 2002 Pocket PC and a phone it introduced last year for WiMax, an emerging high-speed wireless technology.
HTC issued a statement from its Chief Executive Peter Chou listing the company's history of innovation.
"From day one, HTC has focused on creating cutting-edge innovations that deliver unique value for people looking for a smartphone," Chou said.
"In 1999 we started designing the XDA and T-Mobile Pocket PC Phone Edition, our first touch-screen smartphones, and they both shipped in 2002 with more than 50 additional HTC smartphone models shipping since then."
(Reporting by Sinead Carew; editing by Andre Grenon)