Apple has announced its intention to launch legal action against Taiwanese company HTC, accusing its mobile market rival of lifting its patented touchscreen technology.

Following the release of HTC’s Nexus One, G1 and myTouch touchscreen models – which all run off Google’s Android platform – Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs released a statement indicating that he’s had enough of what he sees as patent theft.

“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,” Jobs said in a statement.

The action was filed with the US International Trade Commission and the District Court in Wilmington, Deleware, which can award damages and order HTC to stop sales.

Apple’s decision comes after it counter-sued phone giant Nokia, claiming that its lawsuit regarding manufacturing cost reduction and battery life is baseless.

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