July 16, 2011
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled yesterday in an initial determination that HTC, a Taiwanese maker of Android devices, infringed on two Apple patents. Trouble now looms for this popular phone maker. Apple filed a suit against HTC, which included the violation of four patent infringements. The ITC ruled in favor of Apple on two of the patents. The first infringement involves the system and method for performing an action on a structure in a computer, and the second includes a real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data. The final decision has yet to be made, as a six-member commission will still need to meet and make a final ruling. HTC has already declared they will appeal the determination. Grace Lei, general council for HTC said in a statement:
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.All Things D, this determination may have a larger impact on Android. The first of the stated infringements mentioned above impacts the core of the Android platform, not just HTC. This ITC infringement ruling may impact Google’s mobile OS and have a substantial impact on all Android devices. The ITC has the ability to ban imports into the U.S. which makes this is a serious determination for HTC and other foreign phone makers. We have heard of other similar suits by Apple brought against companies such as Samsung and Motorola. To quote Steve Jobs:
We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We’ve decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.The final determination in the HTC case is set for December 6, 2011.