This past week, HTC was dealt a minor setback when an ITC judge ruled HTC is in fact infringing on two patents held by Apple. The case in question was first presented last year when Apple filed a complaint against HTC claiming HTC’s Android devices were infringing on ten different patents held by Apple.
Patent #5,946,647 (a system and method causes a computer to detect and perform actions on structures identified in computer data) and #6,343,263 (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) were both granted to Apple in 1999 and 2002, long before Apple’s iOS and Android were even a blip on the radar.
While many blogs and commenters have labeled this news as a doomsday scenario for HTC and other Android manufacturers, the initial ruling by the ITC judge is not yet final. The ruling must first be reviewed by a six-member ITC panel that will decide if HTC’s products do in fact infringe on Apple’s patents.
Even if ITC rules in favor of Apple, HTC is poised to do everything they can to continue to sell their Android powered devices. In HTC’s official response to the ITC ruling, HTC’s Grace Lei expressed, “We strongly believe we have alternate solutions in place for the issues raised by Apple. We look forward to resolving this case, so we can continue creating the most innovative mobile experiences for consumers.” Some speculate this could lead to even more Android fragmentation as manufactures recode the OS to work around Apple’s patents.Show Press Release
Taoyuan, Taiwan–July 16, 2011 – HTC received notice of the ITC judge’s initial determination in the Apple vs. HTC case, ITC No. 337-TA-710. Apple originally asserted 10 of its patents against HTC in March 2010, and the judge ruled today that HTC infringed on 2 patents. HTC does not yet have access to the judge’s full opinion and analysis to determine the details of his findings.
“We are highly confident we have a strong case for the ITC appeals process and are fully prepared to defend ourselves using all means possible,” said Grace Lei, General Counsel of HTC. “We strongly believe we have alternate solutions in place for the issues raised by Apple. We look forward to resolving this case, so we can continue creating the most innovative mobile experiences for consumers.”