Apple Scores ITC Ruling against HTC, Bans HTC Products in US

Apple has been in news for a long time regarding its on-going patent war with different smartphone manufacturers. Where the Cupertino-based company is busy dealing with the cases against Samsung in several countries, it was also battling against other smartphone makers including HTC.

In its recent battle against HTC, the Cupertino-based company has managed to get injunction against HTC’s Android products in the US from the International Trade Commission in USA. The ban on HTC’s product in US market will take effect from April 19, 2012.

ITC has imposed ban on some of the most popular devices from HTC, including the Sprint EVO 4G, Verizon Droid Incredible, AT&T Aria and T-Mobile G2.

Based on the evidences, the commission announced its ruling in favor of Apple, suggesting that HTC does in fact infringe upon Apple’s patent, specifically patent number 5,945,647. This system level patent was gained by Apple back in 1999. It could somehow be related to Google’s Android mobile operating itself. This clearly suggests that almost all the Android products would likely be at risk of infringing upon Apple’s patent.

Surprisingly, the file has now transferred to President to take the final decision on the verdict:

The decision now goes to the desk of the president, who has 60 days to issue a rarely-used veto; the ban itself will go into effect on April 19, 2012 to provide HTC with a transition period, and HTC will be allowed to import refurbished products for warranty replacement purposes until December 19, 2013.

ITC decision against HTC is a big flow for the company without any doubt and could possibly have a massive affect on its business in the coming year. In response to ruling, HTC has released a statement, showing its intentions to bypass the infringed patent.

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. 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.

In one of its statement later, HTC said that the major factor behind the infringement ruling is “a small UI experience” and “HTC will workaround to completely resolve the problem from its entire smartphone lineup.”

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