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ITC Rules For Apple in HTC Patent Case [Updated]

A judge with the US International Trade Commission ruled today that HTC violated two of Apple's patents in a year-long case filed last March. Apple had accused HTC of violating 20 of its patents, and filed a second complaint this week, claiming infringement of five more patents. HTC has said it will appeal the decision.

When it initially filed the lawsuit, Apple CEO Steve Jobs explained why it was taking legal action:
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. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.
If HTC's appeal fails, it will be required to settle with Apple over the patents. However, FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller notes the ITC decision could be very bad for Android, if Apple refuses to settle:
Depending on which two patents HTC infringes and on whether the Commission affirms the ALJ's decision, this could in a worst-case scenario result in a shutdown of many or even all Android-based HTC products in the U.S. market. In a less extreme scenario, HTC might have to remove certain functionality from its products, and that could result in a significant degradation of the user experience and quality of those devices.
Mueller notes that Apple has two ITC complaints and three federal lawsuits currently in motion against HTC, with 16 other patents in question aside from the ones in today's decision.

The United States International Trade Commission is an independent federal agency that, among other things, adjudicates cases involving imports that allegedly infringe intellectual property rights." It has the power, in rare cases, to ban infringing products from the country entirely.

Update: These are the two patents the judge feels are being infringed:

- U.S. Patent No. 5,946,647 on a "system and method causes a computer to detect and perform actions on structures identified in computer data."

- U.S. Patent No. 6,343,263 on a "data transmission system having a real-time data engine for processing isochronous streams of data includes an interface device that provides a physical and logical connection of a computer to any one or more of a variety of different types of data networks."

Both of these patents are at issue in the lawsuits between Apple and Motorola as well.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

41 months ago
Anyone that thinks this is good for us the consumer is wrong. This is doing nothing but turning into a lawsuit fest. Everyone is suing everyone for stupid things like "apparatus to push button to turn on." You mean the power button. Some reform is going to be necessary pretty quick here. Apple needs to defend its patents of course but at what point does common sense trump technology?



However, they should not be prevented from selling their phones. That is not the point of the patent process.


Apple wants a legal monopoly so it can keeps its 40+% margins. Doesn't that bother anyone? That they are essentially paying double for Apple products?
Rating: 42 Votes
41 months ago

Of course.

Apple was first to the market with the iPhone. And then all the look-aliked magically appeared out of nowhere.

The first (of likely many) difficulties Google and the box-makers will face from here on in.

When Jobs said "we patented the hell out of it", he wasn't kidding.

Fair warning to all competitors to respect what Apple did in June 2007.

The writing was on the wall already, especially with Android. One wonders what IP in Android is actually Google's. Add to all this the Apple-led consortium win in the Nortel patent bidding and things look rather shaky for Google.


Dude, why don't you try Engadget?
Rating: 34 Votes
41 months ago

Reality is reality irrespective of internet tech sites.

Who the hell didn't see this coming a mile away?


It's totally not about that.

It's your stupid dilemma that Apple is the only one in the right mind, patenting the right ****, doing the right **** for the consumers.
No doubt that Apple is definitely doing so; but there are a ton of companies that are trying to do so as well.

I am very happy that Apple finally holds a candle with these patents and trying to force HTC to get into a patent license agreement which has been literally 'stealing' some of the patents from Apple(no doubt Apple does 'steal' too).

Point being, you make it sound so ridiculous that Apple patented all the features of the smartphone and all companies are left naked, now to suck Apple's balls and will get sued by Apple until they go bankrupt.

Seriously, get off the 'Fanboy bandwagon'. I have stated before that I do like some of your posts, but your ridiculous insight to the Godlike Apple and ****-like other companies is very disgusting to read.

Apple may well being doing good; but they are not the only one innovating or doing good. Get a thought please; this time around a decent one.
Rating: 33 Votes
41 months ago
Of course.

Apple was first to the market with the iPhone. And then all the look-alikes magically appeared out of nowhere.

The first (of likely many) difficulties Google and the box-makers will face from here on in.

When Jobs said "we patented the hell out of it", he wasn't kidding.

Fair warning to all competitors to respect what Apple did in June 2007.

The writing was on the wall already, especially with Android. One wonders what IP in Android is actually Google's. Add to all this the Apple-led consortium win in the Nortel patent bidding and things look rather shaky for Google.
Rating: 25 Votes
41 months ago

Dude, why don't you try Engadget?


Reality is reality irrespective of internet tech sites.

Who the hell didn't see this coming a mile away?
Rating: 21 Votes
41 months ago

I am in favor of the filings and rulings, but the whole principal of patent law is not to prevent folks from using intellectual property, but paying for it. The outcome here will not be exclusion of products or of usage rights, but compensation for same.

Apple values exclusivity over money so despite fully winning they lost.

Rocketman

Insight over noise.


I agree. Apple should licence those patents on a fair and reasonable basis. They should be awarded some retroactive money based on historical sales, and HTC should be made to pay Apple an additional punitive amount based on damages to Apple.

However, they should not be prevented from selling their phones. That is not the point of the patent process.
Rating: 17 Votes
41 months ago
Good for Apple, they should stick up for their patents. It'll be very interesting to see what happens with this. It's taken so long to come to this stage, so we may have to wait even longer to discover what happens next.
Rating: 16 Votes
41 months ago

Anyone that thinks this is good for us the consumer is wrong.


This has nothing to do with consumers. It's about respecting IP. If someone can't do that that they're not entitled to enrichment from it, and consumers certainly aren't entitled to those products.

Whether it's good for consumers is irrelevant. Of course, if you're a consumer who also markets a product and thus relies on the integrity of IP law then this is the system in action.

It's time for everyone to start taking IP seriously, because there are consequences for theft. And this goes for Apple as well.
Rating: 16 Votes
41 months ago

Good luck to Apple for defending that patent - my Samsung Windows Mobile SCH-i730 phone from 2005 did exactly the same thing - text in email/SMS messages was hot-linked to the obvious....

Apple has good photo-copiers - but they'll need a real time machine to defend this patent.


Or Apple just had to file it before your 2005 phone, which they did, the patent was filed in 1996.
Rating: 16 Votes
41 months ago

It's totally not about that.

It's your stupid dilemma that Apple is the only one in the right mind, patenting the right ****, doing the right **** for the consumers.
No doubt that Apple is definitely doing so; but there are a ton of companies that are trying to do so as well.

I am very happy that Apple finally holds a candle with these patents and trying to force HTC to get into a patent license agreement which has been literally 'stealing' some of the patents from Apple(no doubt Apple does 'steal' too).

Point being, you make it sound so ridiculous that Apple patented all the features of the smartphone and all companies are left naked, now to suck Apple's balls and will get sued by Apple until they go bankrupt.

Seriously, get off the 'Fanboy bandwagon'. I have stated before that I do like some of your posts, but your ridiculous insight to the Godlike Apple and ****-like other companies is very disgusting to read.

Apple may well being doing good; but they are not the only one innovating or doing good. Get a thought please; this time around a decent one.


Wow, this has really thrown you off your rocker...

No, Apple isn't the only one doing great stuff in the mobile platform. You can look at Palm (HP) and MS (honestly, WP7 is pretty good) who are doing new, interesting stuff. However, Android was a total rip-off of a LOT of things. Apple's design, and smartphone concept, in the user facing areas, and Java in the fundamentals.
Rating: 16 Votes

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