ITC Finds HTC Guilty Of Infringing On Apple Patents; Bans Some HTC Phones In US

News | Wednesday December 14 2011 2:04 PM | Comments (0) Tags: , , , , , , ,

alleging that the Taiwan based handset manufacturer has infringed on nearly 20 of Apple ‘s proprietary inventions relating to the iPhone ‘s UI, architecture and hardware.
Apple had also filed a second lawsuit in July, claiming infringement of 5 more patents.
Back in July, a US International Trade Commission (ITC) judge has ruled that
Patent No. 5,946,647:
Patent No. 6,343,263:
At that time, HTC had appealed against the ruling. However, FOSS Patent reports that the U.S. International Trade Commission has ruled in favor of Apple and has banned HTC products infringing on these two patents from April 2012. Florian Mueller of
What Apple has won is a formal import ban scheduled to commence on April 19, 2012, but relating only to HTC Android phones implementing one of two claims of a “data tapping patent”: a patent on an invention that marks up phone numbers and other types of formatted data in an unstructured document, such as an email, in order to enable users to bring up other programs (such as a dialer app) that process such data. The import ban won’t relate to HTC Android products that don’t implement that feature, or that implement it in ways not covered by those patent claims.
Mueller however points out that if HTC can work with Google and come up with an implementation of the feature without infringing on Apple ‘s patent or remove the feature completely then the ban on HTC products won’t have any effect. It looks like HTC and Google have done exactly that to avoid the ban.
“We are gratified that the commission affirmed the judge’s determination on the ‘721 and ‘983 patents, and reversed its decision on the ‘263 patent and partially on the ‘647 patent. We are very pleased with the determination and we respect it. However, the ‘647 patent is a small UI experience and HTC will completely remove it from all of our phones soon.”
It is interesting to see Apple go after the smartphone manufacturers such as HTC and Samsung rather than going directly after Google whose mobile operating system powers their devices and which is actually infringing on Apple ‘s patent. It remains to be seen if Apple will take advantage of this ruling in its favor in the patent war with other Android-based smartphone manufacturers like Samsung.
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