Apple versus HTC: Show me the patents!

Most of the patents in question have to do with lower-level operating system functionality, or multitouch gestures

190726-picture1_original

Apple has announced it is suing Taiwanese maker of smartphones HTC for infringing on 20 patents. While PCWorld has covered the topic from all sorts of angles, what specific patents are in question? According to the statement, twenty of them, ranging in age from 15 years to one month.

Most of the patents in question have to do with lower-level operating system functionality, or multitouch gestures. The first ten we'll cover are from the federal case, including US Patent #7,657,849 for "Unlocking A Device By Performing Gestures On An Unlock Image" which was granted on February 2, 2010, barely a month ago! This patent's title says it all: unlock your phone by sliding your finger on the unlock image. Pretty easy to understand? Let's see some of the others:

US Patent #5,920,726, "System And Method For Managing Power Conditions Within A Digital Camera Device," is a process by which the camera can be rapidly powered on after the device wakes from a sleep mode. This patent dates back to the mid 1990s!

How about US Patent #7,633,076, "Automated Response To And Sensing Of User Activity In Portable Devices"? It describes how a phone's sensors determine what sort of activity you're doing, whether looking at your phone, talking on it, or simply carrying it in your pocket.

190726-picture2_350

Filed in 1999, US Patent #6,424,354 "Object-Oriented Event Notification System With Listener Registration Of Both Interests And Method" has some vintage OS 9-style illustrations, but just because the technology's over 10 years old doesn't mean it's irrelevant: Engadget describes this patent as "a system specifically described in the abstract as presenting a context-sensitive menu on the screen, [which is] very much the core of the Android UI." Shouldn't Apple be taking this one up with the Open Handset Alliance, rather than HTC?

190726-picture3_350

If you're craving the remaining six patents involved in the federal case, or the other ten from the International Trade Commission suit, you're in luck! The federal filing is available here, and the ITC documents are here. While HTC asserts it uses its own technology and hasn't infringed on Apple's intellectual property, these should be fascinating cases to watch develop, regardless of if things get settled in days, months, or years. Pass the popcorn!

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonesApplepatentshtc

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Alessondra Springmann

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Ada Chan

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

I highly recommend the Dynabook Portégé® X30L-G notebook for everyday business use, it is a benchmark setting notebook of its generation in the lightweight category.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?