NEW YORK (AP) -- HTC Corp., the Taiwanese cell phone maker sued by Apple for patent infringement, said Thursday it will defend itself against charges that it lifted iPhone technology.
In his first public comment on the suit, HTC chief Peter Chou said the company "disagrees with Apple's actions," though he did not go into specifics.
Apple says HTC's phones -- several of which use Google Inc.'s Android mobile operating software -- infringe on 20 of its patents. The patents cover technology like iPhone two-finger screen recognition, which allows users to perform multiple functions on the gadget.
The suit, filed earlier this month, served as a warning to rivals that Apple Inc. is ready to aggressively defend its technology amid intensifying competition in the smart phone market. Phones based on Google's Android software have emerged as a major threat.
In his statement Thursday, Chou avoided addressing Apple's claims directly. He said, "HTC strongly advocates intellectual property protection and will continue to respect other innovators and their technologies as we have always done."
He added, "We will continue to embrace competition through our own innovation as a healthy way for consumers to get the best mobile experience possible."