One Obvious Question for HTC CEO Peter Chou at D8: How About Them Apple (Patents)?
Before Apple lobbed a patent infringement lawsuit at Taiwanese handset manufacturer HTC yesterday, we were lucky to get its CEO, Peter Chou, to agree to appear at the eighth D: All Things Digital conference in June to talk about its work making smartphones for Google and others.
That interview with Chou (pictured above) obviously got a whole lot more interesting with the epic legal action by Apple (AAPL) alleging that HTC infringed some 20 patents related to the iPhone’s graphical user interface, underlying architecture and hardware.
“The company is asking for a permanent injunction barring HTC from importing or selling infringing phones in the U.S., along with triple damages and maximum interest.
‘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,’ Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a press release announcing the action. ‘We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.'”
HTC denied the allegations, not surprisingly, and was backed up in a statement of support by Google (GOOG). That is also not a surprise, since its Android operating system, which is in the HTC-made Nexus One phone, is mentioned prominently in the lawsuit.
Whatever happens, it all makes for what is likely to be a head-spinning technology rumble over the next months and underscores how important the burgeoning mobile arms race and the fight over innovation will be.
Until we get Chou in an onstage interview at D8 to talk about this and much more, here is a video of MediaMemo’s Peter Kafka talking about yesterday’s Apple action on the new Digits Live Show on WSJ.com: