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iPod Touch vs HTC Touch

HTC: No comment on possible trademark issue

HTC celebrated its 10th anniversary today with a rare compliment from Apple: the company adopted the same name HTC uses on one of its smartphones for the iPod Touch.

HTC, the Taiwanese handset and PDA maker, earlier this year launched the HTC Touch, a Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 Professional OS smartphone designed with one-touch screen features, viewed by many as a rival to the iPhone.

Upon hearing of the name of the new iPod, HTC president and CEO Peter Chou said, "HTC Touch is a trademark, but I can't comment right now," on whether HTC might file suit against the company.

Apple's use of the moniker, however, proves it's a good product name, he added.

Apple launched the iPod Touch yesterday. The digital music player sports a 3.5in widescreen display, and Wi-Fi capabilities so users can connect to the internet.

HTC is the largest maker of mobile devices based on Microsoft Windows operating systems, and its focus on a 2.8in touchscreen in the HTC Touch is similar to Apple's emphasis on touchscreen features in its iPhone. The HTC Touch beat the iPhone to market by a few weeks back in June, but the iPhone was unveiled much earlier, at MacWorld in January.

A trademark lawyer in Taipei, speaking on condition of anonymity, said descriptive words normally can't be trademarked, but added that if the HTC Touch and the iPod Touch share similar functions, such as allowing users to play digital music, then Apple may face a legal hassle. The HTC Touch does allow for digital music storage and playing.


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