HTC Facing US Smartphone Ban After Patent Loss to Apple

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HTC who are already facing flat Smartphone sales have been handed a bitter decision by a US Court after a Judge ruled that the ITC could ban the Companies Smartphones from going on sale in the USA after a patent loss to Apple.

The U.S. International Trade Commission said it would ban imports of HTC smartphones a move that could over time affect any manufacture that is building devices around the Google Android operating system and selling them in the USA.

After the Court case HTC said it would remove the feature found to violate Apple’s patent, a move that should avoid disruption to its U.S. business.

The Wall Street Journal said that the ITC’s decision narrowed an earlier finding that HTC was infringing multiple claims of two separate patents. Instead, it found that some HTC smartphones using Android violated only two claims of one Apple patent related to extracting information such as phone numbers from emails and doing something with the information, such as making a phone call. That invention, sometimes described as covering “data tapping,” allows users to grab data embedded in an unstructured form, like an address, and use it in another phone application, such as mapping.


It wasn’t clear how many HTC smartphones use the infringing technology. Grace Lei, the company’s general counsel, said in a statement that the ruling involved a “small” user-interface feature and “HTC will completely remove it from all of our phones soon.”

An Apple spokeswoman said “competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.”

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