When Apple filed a patent infringement lawsuit against HTC involving technology used in the iPhone, HTC said it would not sit back and be bullied. Wednesday, the Taiwanese handset maker followed through on that promise.
Reuters reports HTC filed suit against Apple before the International Trade Commission, which is a popular forum for such disputes because the commission can ban the importation of infringing technology. It follows, then, that HTC is asking the commission to ban iPhones, iPods and iPads in the U.S.
HTC North American VP Jason Mackenzie explained:
We are taking this action against Apple to protect our intellectual property, our industry partners, and most importantly, our customers that use HTC phones.
Observers, however, seem a bit perplexed as to what HTC hopes to gain from the proceeding, noting that the company's patent portfolio is small compared to others who have taken on the Cupertino, Calif., company. MKM analyst Tero Kuittinen told Reuters the portfolio is "not particularly strong."
Maybe HTC is taking a page from i4i's playbook. The Canadian company just won a slam dunk against Microsoft on a particular patent.
I don't know anything about HTC's portfolio, so this is pure speculation, but if HTC is as sure about any of the patents at issue here as i4i was about its patent, it doesn't really matter how strong the rest of HTC's portfolio is -- not for this particular case anyway.