Taiwan's leading smartphone maker HTC (IW 1000/405) Thursday hailed as a victory a British court ruling that it did not infringe on a patent owned by the U.S. technology giant Apple (IW 500/14).
The high court in London Wednesday found HTC did not infringe on Apple's photo management patent while deeming three other Apple patents -- for slide-to-unlock, multi-touch and multilingual keyboard capability -- invalid.
The court ruled that Apple's "multi-touch" patent was invalid partly due to "obviousness over common general knowledge" in an 81-page ruling. Multi-touch refers to the ability to touch a screen with for example two fingers at a time.
"HTC is pleased with the ruling, which provides further confirmation that Apple's claims against HTC are without merit," the company said in a statement.
"We remain disappointed that Apple continues to favor competition in the courtroom over competition in the marketplace."
HTC touts its own brand of smartphones and also makes handsets for a number of leading U.S. companies, including Google's Nexus One.
An Apple spokesman declined to comment on a specific case, but added "we think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."
Patent lawsuits are a regular occurrence among technology giants and Wednesday's ruling was among a string of legal defeats for Apple in recent months.
A Dutch court last month ruled that Apple has infringed on a patent held by South Korean rival Samsung and ordered the U.S. firm to pay an unspecified amount of damages.
In April, Motorola (IW 500/54) scored a victory when a German court found that Apple's iCloud and MobileMe services breached its patents and ordered Apple to pay damages.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012