Apple's attempts at getting the import of some HTC smartphones into the United States banned have met with failure as the International Trade Commission (ITC), a body that hears patent complaints pertaining to imported products, has refused to issue a ban order. Apple had sought the ban as it believes that the smartphones infringe upon their patent. The ITC earlier this week stated that although they would look into Apple's complaint against HTC, they would not issue an order to ban the phones immediately.
Both Apple and HTC have been at loggerheads over a host of unresolved patents. Last month, the lawsuit between the two companies took a turn for the worse when Apple presented a motion for dismissal of five HTC patents, which the judge granted. Apple raised this motion in relation to the fact that the five patents that HTC presented were not actually theirs to begin with.
Apple fails to have the import some HTC smartphones into the US banned
The five patents in question include:
- U.S. Patent No. 6,473,006 on a “method and apparatus for zoomed display of characters entered from a telephone keypad”
- U.S. Patent No. 6,708,214 on a “hypermedia identifier input mode for a mobile communication device”
- U.S. Patent No. 6,868,283 on a “technique allowing a status bar user response on a portable device graphic user interface”
- U.S. Patent No. 7,289,772, same title as the previous patent
- U.S. Patent No. 7,020,849 on a “dynamic display for communication devices”
According to reports, the patents had been sold to HTC by Google a week before the suit, last September. What's interesting is that most of these patents were not originally even Google's and had changed companies at least twice before falling into Google's hands. HTC has since withdrawn its appeal and the company's Chairwoman Cher Wang has said, “Apple is a company with 'big muscle' and is famous worldwide. In the United States particularly, it will be able to stop us by all means. This is our challenge.” She went on to state that HTC would strengthen its portfolio by applying for and purchasing more patents. The company is also planning to buying S3 Graphics Co., another company that is embroiled in a patent war with Apple.