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)

111 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: 13 Votes
111 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: 11 Votes
111 months ago

There are lots of patent "trolls". There are painfully few patent rights licensing "trolls".


Exploit the world, don't improve it!

It's called competition on a level playing field. HTC has equal rights to patent their IP and defend it against Apple or any other competitor.

Either one can invest into R&D and actually hire professionals to do the research or risk legal action for IP theft.

It appears this generation thinks now, more than ever, that IP theft is virtuous and investing in the education of a growing technical staff is not an action of virtue.
Rating: 10 Votes
111 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: 10 Votes
111 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.


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: 10 Votes
111 months ago

Hilarious coming from a man (who I idolize) that stole all his ideas from Xerox. Too funny drill Sgt!

For someone who claims they idolize the man you have zero knowledge of the relation that was PARC and Apple.

XEROX got $125 Million in stock they immediately sold when Apple had their IPO.

If they held onto it it would be in the tens of billions, in today's valuation.

XEROX licensed their IP to Apple and had no interest in the personal computer paradigm. They were the fools.
Rating: 9 Votes
111 months ago

Then on to a company called FingerWorks!

God some of you people... There is a big difference between inventing something and taking a design, making it better (they did and with help btw FingerWorks), patenting and then trying to sue everyone else out of market existence!

You forgot to mention that Apple purchased all the assets (including patents) from FingerWorks in early 2005.

Companies don't really invent anything, inventors do and in this case the inventors were paid by Apple, which then developed the technology into something other than niche products. FingerWorks original products were all just keyboard/mouse replacements.
Rating: 9 Votes
111 months ago

Last 2 weeks all android makes have been in panic after Apple was granted the Multi touch patent.
HTC and 5 other android makers have signed deals with Microsoft. HTC pays 5 dollar per device to MSFT. The thinking is that MSFT patents would help android makers against Apple.

MSFT has got away with this before since they are extremely good business people. Remember how they cloned Mac operating system. It was ruled in the trial that MSFT had a license to clone MacOS.
Apple had signed a deal with Microsoft to make programs for MacOS. Somehow in this deal Apple had granted MSFT rights to copy their operating system. :roll eyes:

I just wished that all companies was as innovative as Apple.
I can name 2 MSFT innovations: Clippy and auto run.
Can name at least 50 Apple innovation. From the first digital camera to iPad.

Thats nonsense. MS innovates a hell of a lot. They are just really poor at converting their innovations (and patents) into products people want. However, the amount of new stuff coming out of MS labs, etc. far eclipses that coming out of Apple.

HTC and the likes are not signing deals with MS to protect them from Apple. They are signing deals with MS to protect them from MS. MS also has a ton of patents they can bury them under.
Rating: 9 Votes
111 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: 8 Votes
111 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: 8 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]