It looks like HTC will have to stop importing some of its Android phones to the U.S., thanks to Apple. In its case against HTC, the United States International Trade Commission has ruled in favor of Apple and has banned the importation and sale of HTC devices running on Android 1.6 to 2.2. These devices include the Sprint EVO 4G, Verizon Droid Incredible, the T-Mobile G2, and the Aria on AT&T. The ITC found that HTC Android device infringe two claims of patent #5,946,647, which is a system level patent on analyzing and linking data structures; the patent was issued in 199.
Since the infringing claims are found in Google Android OS, there’s potential for Apple to go after more device manufacturers in the future. The decision will now be sent to the president’s desk and he will have 60 days to issue a veto (which won’t happen). The ban of HTC products in the U.S. won’t start until April 19, 2012, which should give HTC enough of a transition period. For warranty purposes, HTC will be allowed to import devices up until December 19, 2013.
While Apple can theoretically go after other Android OEMs who use the same patent, it might not have the chance to do so if Google can develop a patch that works around Apple’s patent claims. Here is what HTC had to say about the decision, and their plan to resolve the situation:
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.
Here is what Apple had to say on the situation:
We think competition is healthy but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.
In regards to Apple’s response, I’ll just leave this nice little video clipe from the late Steve Jobs!
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