Apple has filed a second patent infringement complaint against HTC as the legal battle between the mobile computing companies shows no sign of abating.
The iPhone maker alleges that 17 HTC devices, including the Evo, Desire, Hero and Wildfire smartphones as well as the Flyer tablet, are infringing five patents.
The patents relate to touch-screen display and zooming and scrolling technologies, and three of these patents are also cited in Apple's infringement action against Samsung.
Apple originally filed a patent complaint against HTC with the International Trade Commission (ITC) in March 2010, the outcome of which is expected on 5 August.
Preliminary investigations suggest that HTC could be cleared of infringement, which is why Apple has reinforced its position, according to software patents expert Florian Mueller.
"There's another reason [why] Apple needs to step up its patent enforcement against HTC. The Taiwanese company just agreed to acquire S3 Graphics Co," he said on the Foss Patents blog.
"[The] primary if not exclusive reason for the deal is that just a week and half ago on 1 July the administrative law judge leading the ITC investigation of S3's complaint against Apple issued a notice of a final initial determination, according to which Apple was deemed to infringe two valid S3 patents."
HTC hopes to be able to force Apple into a settlement to avoid the possibility of a formal import ban being ordered by the ITC against infringing products, Mueller added.
In a statement to V3.co.uk, HTC maintained its innocence and said that it will fight the claims.
"HTC is dismayed that Apple has resorted to competition in the courts rather than the marketplace," said Grace Lei, general counsel at HTC.
"HTC continues to vehemently deny all of Apple's past and present claims against it, and will continue to protect and defend its own intellectual property as it has already done this year."
As always, legal complexities make it almost impossible to pick a winner. Considering that Nokia managed to defeat Apple and gain a substantial €420m payment in June, it is not out of the question that HTC could do the same.
Apple is also involved in numerous tussles with high-profile firms including Samsung, Amazon and Kodak.
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