Apple filed a lawsuit against rival handset maker HTC on Tuesday, over the alleged infringement of 20 patents related to the iPhone's user interface, according to reports.

The case, filed with the U.S. District Court in Delaware and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), states that HTC infringes on Apple patents connected to its iPhone hardware, underlying architecture, and interface, the Apple Insider reported.

We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We've decided to do something about it, said Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in a statement.

We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.

 Exact details on which patents HTC is alleged to have violated were not detailed.

Apple has said before that it has filed over 200 patents related to the iPhone.

HTC was the first company to manufacture cellphones based on Google's Android operating system, which has emerged as a significant competitor for the iPhone.

The new case comes on the heels of a counter-sue that Apple laid against Nokia Corp. in December. Apple accused the Finish handset maker of 13 patent infringements.

Nokia had first sued Apple in October in a U.S. court, alleging that the iPhone infringed on 10 of its patents.

The ITC has also begun investigating claims made by Kodak against Apple. The camera company alleged that Apple violated patents relating to the previewing of images, and processing them at different resolutions.