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

United States International Trade Commission sealThe 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

Mattie Num Nums Avatar
159 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.)
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
513 Avatar
159 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
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Patriot24 Avatar
159 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...
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
*LTD* Avatar
159 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.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
neiltc13 Avatar
159 months ago
Those of you people vilifying Apple over this, I'd like to see how you would feel if you invested your precious resources in something only to watch someone else rip it off and profit from your hard work.
The point is that in this case, the thing that Apple patented already existed many years before.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
D 5 Avatar
159 months ago
Boom!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
General Apps Messages

iOS 17.4 to Add This 'Groundbreaking' New Messaging Feature

Friday February 23, 2024 5:05 am PST by
With iOS 17.4, set to arrive in March 2024, Apple is bringing a new cryptographic security feature to iMessage called PQ3. This "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks," according to Apple. Let's break down what that means. Apple's iMessage service already supports end-to-end encryption, but security...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

What to Expect at Potential Apple Event in March: iPads, Macs, and More

Friday February 23, 2024 8:35 am PST by
Apple often holds its first media event of the year in March, so the company could be just weeks away from announcing new products. Below, we have outlined what to expect from a potential Apple Event this March. Past Apple Events in March Apple has held five events in March since 2015:Monday, March 9, 2015 Monday, March 21, 2016 Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Monday, March 25, 2019 Tuesday,...
iOS 17

When Will Apple Release iOS 17.4 for iPhones?

Friday February 23, 2024 11:56 am PST by
Apple has been beta testing iOS 17.4 for nearly a month now. Below, we explain when the update is likely to be released to all users. In its press release announcing major App Store changes in the EU, which were implemented in response to new regulations under the EU's Digital Markets Act, Apple confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released at some point in March:Developers can learn about these...
iOS 18 Mock Feature Baubles

iOS 18 Rumored to Have Design Changes, macOS Revamp Coming Later

Sunday February 25, 2024 8:55 am PST by
iOS 18 will likely include some design changes, but a macOS revamp might be a year or two away, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In his Power On newsletter today, Gurman said Apple is working to update the design of iOS as "early as this year." A sketchy rumor claimed that iOS 18 would feature some visionOS-inspired design elements, and while Gurman agreed that iOS could take some...