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HTC claims innovations long before Apple's patents

HTC defends itself against Apple's patent lawsuit by walking us through its history of innovation.

Earlier this month Apple filed a patent suit against HTC and now HTC is responding. According to HTC's press release, the company

"disagrees with Apple's actions and will fully defend itself."

To refresh your memory, Apple is suing HTC for violating 20 patents related to "the iPhone's user interface, underlying architecture and hardware."

The press release goes on to say that HTC

"strongly advocates intellectual property protection and will continue to respect other innovators and their technologies as we have always done, but we will continue to embrace competition through our own innovation as a healthy way for consumers to get the best mobile experience possible”

What I found particularly interesting about the press release was HTC's ability to not only say that they're innovators but to demonstrate it time and again by including a quick timeline of firsts. I've included them below:

  • First Windows PDA (1998)
  • First Windows Phone (June 2002)
  • First 3G CDMA EVDO smartphone (October 2005)
  • First gesture-based smartphone (June 2007)
  • First Google Android smartphone (October 2008)
  • First 4G WIMAX smartphone (November 2008)

As you can see from above, HTC's innovations start long before the iPhone patents come into play. I'm not a lawyer but I would think that HTC may have a case here.

I've been a Windows Mobile fan since it was first known as Pocket PC and actually had one of the first Pocket PC phones (pictured above). I even wrote a review of the Pocket PC Phone back when it was first released. It was a great phone, way ahead of its time, and clearly demonstrates HTC's ability to innovate at a time when most phones were used just for talking.

Lawsuits have a tendency to drag out for a long time. At this stage I hope this one wraps up quick so that we don't see a strain on HTC's pocket book or innovation as a result.

If you're interested in seeing more of HTC's history be sure to check out HTC.com/history. I remember hearing about HTC long ago when I was playing with the iPAQ and other devices and it's amazing to see how far the company has come since.