The U.S. International Trade Commission has ruled in favor
of Apple in a patent case against HTC, banning the Taiwan-based handset maker from importing certain devices. Is HTC discouraged? Apparently not. The company says the ruling's actually a win.
This decision is a win for HTC and 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.
U.S. Patent No. 5,946,647
is the only Apple patent, out of the 10 at issue, that HTC infringed on, according to the ruling. The patent details a system that detects and turns data such as phone numbers and email addresses into actionable links which bring up relevant applications such as a dialer or an email client. While the feature isn't critical to the normal operation of a mobile phone, it's widely available on many other smartphones, including competing Android devices. HTC has until April 19, 2012, before the import ban takes effect, giving it enough time to work around the ruling, it says.
While disappointed that a finding of violation was still found on two claims of the ‘647 patent, we are well prepared for this decision, and our designers have created alternate solutions for the ‘647 patent. The '647 patent is a small UI experience and HTC will completely remove it from all of our phones soon.
In reality, Apple is the victor only in name. Photo: Stephan Ridgway