Apple scored a legal victory today, as the U.S. International Trade Commission made an initial ruling that HTC had violated two of its Apple's patents related to iPhone technologies.
This blow to HTC opens the door to a potential ban on imports of HTC products into the United States. Apple initially filed 10 patent violations against HTC, but increased that amount by five earlier this week. HTC obviously does not agree with the ITC ruling and provided the following statement:
A loss carries the threat that HTC's products would be banned from coming into the U.S., and Apple only needs to get a favorable decision on one of the patents. Apple initially filed 10 patent violations against HTC, but increased that amount by five earlier this week.
An Apple representative referred back to the company's initial statement when it filed the complaint last year. "We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in the release.
HTC certainly not happy with the judgement said it would appeal the decision:
"HTC will vigorously fight these two remaining patents through an appeal before the ITC commissioners who make the final decision," said Grace Lei, general counsel for HTC. "This is only one step of many in these legal proceedings."
If an appeal isn't successful, HTC will have to come to a settlement with Apple (with Apple taking home some more of HTC's money - Microsoft already takes $5/phone and Oracle is looking for some more) or HTC stops selling Android devices. In all likelihood, if the ITC doesn't agree with HTC's appeal, the two technology heavy weights will work out some settlement.
Either way, the loss would be a defeat for all Android supporters and would pass on to the consumers, and could embolden Apple to take additional legal action.
AllThingsD reports the two patents that the judge feels are being infringed as follows:
- U.S. Patent No. 5,946,647 on a "system and method causes a computer to detect and perform actions on structures identified in computer data."
- U.S. Patent No. 6,343,263 on a "data transmission system having a real-time data engine for processing isochronous streams of data includes an interface device that provides a physical and logical connection of a computer to any one or more of a variety of different types of data networks."