Taiwan's HTC pleased with UK court victory over Apple

Taiwan's leading smartphone maker HTC Thursday hailed as a victory a British court ruling that it did not infringe on a patent owned by the US technology giant Apple.

The high court in London Wednesday found HTC did not infringe on Apple Inc'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 a 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 favour 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 US 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 US firm to pay an unspecified amount of damages.

In April, Motorola scored a victory when a German court found that Apple's iCloud and MobileMe services breached its patents and ordered Apple to pay damages.

-- Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this story --

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