HTC Loses in ITC Patent Ruling

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News Posted: Tue, Jul 19 2011 4:12 PM
Taiwanese phone developer HTC finds itself on the losing end of a legal battle against Apple after an administrative judge from the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that the company is in violation of two of Apple's patents.

This is far from the end for HTC, but is definitely bad news if it is a sign of things to come: if the final decision, which is made by a six-member ITC panel, agrees with the judge's ruling, then the panel could impose an embargo preventing the importation of HTC devices. HTC's stock on the Taiwanese exchange has already fallen.

The case is yet another in a long line of patent infringement cases filed by large companies like Apple, Motorola, Nokia, and Microsoft, which make patents on vague systems to be used in technology and then use their tremendous funds to collect money from those found to be infringing.

HTC has vowed to fight the decision and plans to appeal. Thanks to the recent $300 million acquisition of S3 Graphics, which has filed another infringement case Apple and had an initial ruling in its favor, if the final decision is against HTC the company will have an invaluable asset.

While most companies in these positions typically settle, speculation says that in this case Apple may attempt to enforce the embargo and impede HTC, and thus its competition in the Android OS.

Those looking to see
the infringement claims Apple made against HTC can look here. The claims include things such as "detecting a structure in the data" (i.e. detecting phone numbers or email addresses in a text message) and "a memory storing information including program routines" (any kind of memory in a device that stores application or OS routines).
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