HTC's Phone Shipment Delay in the U.S. Underscores Why Patent Disputes Suck for Consumers

Hey, are you excited about the launch of HTC's One X and want to purchase one? Tough cookies if you live the U.S.. Sales of the new phone are being held up because of a required customs review after HTC was on the losing end of a patent dispute with Apple last year. The same thing applies to HTC's EVO 4G LTE smartphone; it's also delayed. Isn't patent law fun?

According to a Reuters report. HTC confirmed the crummy news, saying recently
"the U.S. availability of the HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE have been delayed due to a standard U.S. customs review of shipments that is required after an International Trade Commission exclusion order."

Barring any patent hiccups, HTC's One X smartphone will land in the U.S., but not before going through a customs review.

At the heart of the issue is that patent law oftentimes hurts consumers as companies squabble over their IP portfolios, though that's us being cynical. More specifically, in this case the issue has to do with Apple winning a patent lawsuit against HTC in December. Phones that use the technology covered by said patent are banned from being sold in the U.S., and while HTC claims to have a workaround that wouldn't run afoul of Apple's IP, new phone shipments must be thoroughly reviewed by customs before they're allowed to land on U.S. shores.