Taiwan cellphone maker HTC, accused by Apple of infringing on iPhone patents, said Thursday it will "fully defend" itself against the charges.
"HTC disagrees with Apple's actions and will fully defend itself," HTC chief executive Peter Chou said in a statement.
"HTC strongly advocates intellectual property protection and will continue to respect other innovators and their technologies as we have always done," Chou said.
The HTC CEO did not directly address the charges from Apple, which filed suit against HTC, maker of the Nexus One smartphone from Google, on March 2 accusing the Taiwan company of infringing on 20 iPhone patents.
Chou said that HTC "will continue to embrace competition through our own innovation as a healthy way for consumers to get the best mobile experience possible.
"From day one, HTC has focused on creating cutting-edge innovations that deliver unique value for people looking for a smartphone," he said.
Jason Mackenzie, vice president of HTC America, said "HTC has always taken a partnership-oriented, collaborative approach to business.
"This has led to long-standing strategic partnerships with the top software, Internet and wireless technology companies in the industry as well as the top US, European and Asian mobile operators," Mackenzie said.
Apple accused HTC of infringing on 20 Apple patents related to the "user interface, underlying architecture and hardware" of the iPhone, the popular touchscreen device introduced in 2007 by the company behind the iPod and the Macintosh computer.
Apple, which is based in Cupertino, California, filed the lawsuit in a US District Court in the state of Delaware and with the US International Trade Commission.
In the suit, Apple, which has sold more than 40 million iPhones worldwide, is asking for unspecified damages and an injunction to prevent HTC from making or selling products using the patents in dispute.
HTC, which stands for High Tech Computer Corp., is Taiwan's leading smartphone maker.
The company makes handsets for a number of leading US companies and is the manufacturer of the Nexus One unveiled by Apple rival Google in January.
Apple did not specifically name Google in the lawsuit but many of the HTC smartphones cited in its filing are powered by Google's open-source Android operating system.
"We are not a party to this lawsuit," the Mountain View, California, company said. "However, we stand behind our Android operating system and the partners who have helped us to develop it."
Patent lawsuits are a fairly regular occurrence among technology giants and Apple is currently being sued by Nokia for patent infringement. Apple has fired back a countersuit against the Finnish mobile phone giant.
Canada's Research in Motion, maker of the Blackberry, has also had its share of patent woes and was accused of patent infringement by US mobile phone maker Motorola in a suit filed in January.
Eastman Kodak Co. filed lawsuits against Apple and RIM that same month alleging they infringed Kodak digital imaging technology.
(c) 2010 AFP