HTC has responded to Apple's alleged patent theft claims as it readies itself for the forthcoming court battle.

Apple has stated that HTC has nabbed a number of its patented ideas, from the simple 'swipe to unlock' gesture to deeper functions related to the UI itself.

Against Google

Given the weight of allegations levied at HTC's Android range, some critics have stated this is the beginning of a larger suit against Google.

But now HTC's chiefs have come out with a strong defence of their brand:

"HTC disagrees with Apple's actions and will fully defend itself.

"HTC strongly advocates intellectual property protection and will continue to respect other innovators and their technologies as we have always done, but we will continue to embrace competition through our own innovation as a healthy way for consumers to get the best mobile experience possible," said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC Corporation.

Cutting edge

"From day one, HTC has focused on creating cutting-edge innovations that deliver unique value for people looking for a smartphone.

"In 1999 we started designing the XDA and T-Mobile Pocket PC Phone Edition, our first touchscreen smartphones, and they both shipped in 2002 with more than 50 additional HTC smartphone models shipping since then."

This one is likely to rumble on and on - but we hope that Android continues to run along at its terrific development pace.