Apple Denied Emergency Request To Bar HTC Phone Imports By ITC

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News Posted: Tue, Jul 3 2012 6:32 PM
Nope! That's the answer given to Apple by the International Trade Commission, shutting down its hopes for an emergency ban against HTC products. It's actually one of only a few "No!" responses heard on the legal front lately, as Judge Koh managed to give Apple the ability to halt sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Galaxy Nexus pending the outcome of the whole shebang. Now, the U.S. ITC has ruled that HTC can continue to import smartphones while the agency "investigates whether the phones violate an order that the Taiwanese company stop infringing an Apple."

The claim is that HTC is still in violation of an order issued in December; the ITC denied the emergency request to have phones like the One X and EVO 4G LTE detained at the U.S. border. If you'll remember back a few weeks, a few of those One X phones were actually held up temporarily at customs, but were eventually let through. The patent in question here "covers a system to detect telephone numbers in e-mails so, when the number on the screen is tapped, they can be stored in directories or called without dialing." Anyone who has used the iPhone for any length of time has probably utilized this feature, but honestly it feels like we're getting to the point of splitting hairs. HTC can't allow its phones to dial a number found in an email, but Apple can borrow ideas from the Android drop-down menu and RIM's own BBM platform?


We understand the value of patents, but this kind of wrist-slapping seems to only be hindering innovation.
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3vi1 replied on Wed, Jul 4 2012 10:47 AM

>> The patent in question here "covers a system to detect telephone numbers in e-mails so, when the number on the screen is tapped, they can be stored in directories or called without dialing."

Content-sensitive hyperlinking. It's obvious to anyone practicing in the field, and has a ton of previous art. Therefore the patent is invalid.

I literally can't remember a time when there were no programs with this sort of functionality.  For example, Sidekick had this same function for phone numbers in 1983 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SideKick).  Email programs have been turning addresses into links forever too.

>> We understand the value of patents, but this kind of wrist-slapping seems to only be hindering innovation.

Here here. +1 Ray.  I think that when a patent is found to be such a blatant affront to common sense/practice, the court should fine the suing company for the amount in damages they were seeking.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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