Apple accuses HTC of patent theft -

Apple today announced that it will be sueing Taiwanese rival HTC, maker of the Google Nexus One, over the iPhone patent, says CNET.

HTC's highly acclaimed range of smartphones have been hailed by many as the only true "iPhone-beaters" available on the market. Today Steve Jobs said in a statement, "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."

The statement will come as a surprise to HTC's fans, many of whom prefer the Android operating system to Apple's iPhone. The lawsuit has apparently been filed concurrently with the US International Trade Commission and in the US District Court in Delaware.

Apple alleges that HTC has infringed on 20 of its patents relating to the iPhone's user interface and hardware.

HTC said, in a statement to TechEye: “HTC is a mobile technology innovator and patent holder that has been very focused over the past 13 years on creating many of the most innovative smartphones. HTC values patent rights and their enforcement but is also committed to defending its own technology innovations. HTC only learned of Apple’s actions this morning via media reports, and therefore we have not yet had the opportunity to investigate the filings. Until we have had this opportunity, we are unable to comment on the validity of the claims being made against HTC.”