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Results tagged “HTC” from California Patent Attorney® Blog

Apple v. HTC Patent Infringement Battle Finally Over

November 12, 2012,

cell phone closeup-offset.jpgCalifornia - After a daunting thirty-two month patent infringement lawsuit between Apple Inc. and HTC, the two tech giants announced a confidential 10-year licensing agreement that will cover both current and future patents held by both companies. The companies also dismissed all pending lawsuits against each other.

The patent infringement dispute arose in March 2010 when Apple filed a complaint against HTC for infringing ten patents related to user interface design. The International Trade Commission determined that HTC was indeed in violation of one patent, which caused a delay in launch dates of the HTC One X and other products due to an import ban.

HTC is not the only Android hardware manufacturer that Apple is embroiled with in messy patent battles. The late CEO Steve Jobs had declared a "thermonuclear war" against the Android operating system, which he called a "stolen product." The company has gone toe to toe with both Samsung and Motorola over claims of patent infringement involving hardware design, core operating system functionalities, and elements of user interface.

The outcome of these current patent battles could affect the design and functionality of smartphones as well as their cost and availability when licensing fees and ITC bans take place.

"HTC is pleased to have resolved its dispute with Apple, so HTC can focus on innovation instead of litigation," said Peter Chou, Chief Executive Officer of the Taiwan-based HTC.

Tim Cook, who replaced Jobs as the CEO of Apple, made a similar statement indicating that the company intends on staying "laser focused on product innovation." Unlike Jobs' war mantra of dragging these claims out in court for years and years, Cook has taken a less hostile approach. He appears to be more willing to work out deals with the Android makers to avoid the courts. The company struck a deal with handset-maker Nokia, which included money from Apple.

Regardless of Cook's diplomatic approach to the patent wars, Apple failed to strike a settlement agreement with Samsung earlier this year. Apple won the case in court with the jury awarding it $1 billion in damages, a decision which Samsung says it will appeal.

Apple Claims Smartphone Infringement, Deals Blow to HTC

December 27, 2011,

apple-logo-gray.jpgCalifornia - The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ordered a ban on HTC handset imports to the United States in a final ruling this week. The ban will take effect on April 19, 2012 allowing wireless carriers to modify their plans.

Apple initially claimed that HTC infringed on several of its patents, but the commission focused on a single patent involved with detecting data. The patent, number 5,946,647, encompasses a "system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer generated data," and was granted in 1999. The technology allows a smartphone user to tap on a recognizable format such as an address or phone number from an e-mail or a website. The phone immediately locates the address on a map or dials the phone number.

Under the ban, the HTC Corporation will still be allowed to import refurbished mobiles to satisfy warranties. The patent will affect a small part of overall phone function and HTC may remove the feature from infringing phones without rendering the entire phone unusable. Other phones may also be affected by the ban.

This ruling is the latest in a larger dispute involving the ITC and federal courts, encompassing HTC and other phone makers who are accusing each other of stealing technology. Apple wants the courts to award damages, and the commission to block imports of infringing products.

HTC is a Taiwan based company with offices in Bellevue, Washington. It developed the G1, the first Android smartphone, and built a market share featuring the company's unique Sense user interface. In an earlier October ruling, the ITC held that the Apple iPhone did not violate four HTC patents. It is the first Android supporting company Apple has targeted, foreshadowing possible future litigation due to a growing threat of Google software affecting the iPhone market.