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ITC Rules For Apple in Patent Case, Bans Some HTC Imports [Update: HTC Responds]

The U.S. International Trade Commission has ruled in favor (PDF) of Apple in a patent dispute with Taiwanese phone manufacturer HTC. The commission found that a number of HTC devices violate two claims related to an Apple patent. As a result of the decision, an actual ban on the importation of some HTC devices goes into effect in April of 2012.

Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents on the decision:
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 goes on to note that it is possible for Google to implement the feature in a way that doesn't violate Apple's patents, which would render the ban meaningless. However, it does give Apple a bigger bargaining chip in its many lawsuits against Android manufacturers.

According to the decision (PDF), the patent being infringed is:

- 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."

This ruling echoes an earlier one by an ITC judge from July in the same case.

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: In a statement given to BGR, HTC says it is "well prepared for this decision, and our designers have created alternate solutions for the ‘647 patent."

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

35 months ago
Great job Apple. Keep it up. Protect your patents to the end.
Rating: 47 Votes
35 months ago
In 2007 Steve got up on stage, having come completely out of left field with a landmark product and declared "boy have we patented it!" This goes for most of Apple's products.

Fair warning. Apple's version of the patent game was never any secret.
Rating: 32 Votes
35 months ago
So to summarize, Apple lost all the patents against HTC, but won only 2 claims, AND it's only on some HTC devices AND it takes effect only in the end of April AND HTC just said that their "designers have created alternate solutions for the ‘647 patent."

So what did Apple win here ?

EDIT link : http://www.androidcentral.com/htc-found-violate-two-apple-patents-some-devices-will-be-banned-import-come-april-2012
Rating: 23 Votes
35 months ago

So to summarize, Apple lost all the patents against HTC, but won only 2 claims, AND it's only on some HTC devices AND it takes effect only in the end of April AND HTC just said that their "designers have created alternate solutions for the ‘647 patent."

So what did Apple won here ?


Reminds me of Samsungs HUGE loss (which really meant they had to change a scrolling feature in the Samsung Picture Gallery.)
Rating: 18 Votes
35 months ago
Boom!
Rating: 17 Votes
35 months ago

"I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this. I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong." - Steve Jobs


Up until now I guess I didn't realize how serious this situation was, probably because it hadn't affected sales in my country (U.S.) yet. It is getting pretty insane...
Rating: 17 Votes
35 months ago

Great job Apple. Keep it up. Protect your patents to the end.


And it will be till the end as Apple will lose in the long run.

Sooner or later they will get swamped. There is no way one company can hold back the rest of the competing world, Even GIANTS like IBM had their day in certain areas......
Rating: 16 Votes
35 months ago

Boom!


And that was just the warning shot! Thermonuclear here we come.
Rating: 14 Votes
35 months ago

Oh really now? I thought HTC and Apple were cool.. Just Samsung they hated.


Apple hates anyone that tries to make a better product.
Rating: 11 Votes
35 months ago

So to summarize, Apple lost all the patents against HTC, but won only 2 claims, AND it's only on some HTC devices AND it takes effect only in the end of April AND HTC just said that their "designers have created alternate solutions for the ‘647 patent."

So what did Apple win here ?

EDIT link : http://www.androidcentral.com/htc-found-violate-two-apple-patents-some-devices-will-be-banned-import-come-april-2012


They won the "Hey, lets come out looking like retards to the entire tech. community (sans LTD et al.)" award.
Rating: 11 Votes

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