HTC and Android could be in biiig trouble

HTC and Android could be in biiig troubleIt’s a full-time freakin’ job keeping track of Apple’s various legal feuds. There are all sorts of licensing and cross-licensing agreements in play, and countless claims of patent-this and patent-that.

One recent ruling – in Apple’s favour, at the possible expense of HTC – could in fact have wider-reaching implications for Android.

A US International Trade Commission (ITC) judge has determined that HTC infringes two of ten patents initially asserted by Apple. The ITC wields insane-o power, and in extreme cases can ban imports that infringe on intellectual property rights.

The two patents are No. 5,946,647 and No. 6,343,263. In case you don’t have ‘em all memorised just yet, they’re for a “system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data” and a “real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data.” Mmm, I love it when you talk dirty, patent world.

Worryingly for Google, the patents are vague enough that they could extend to all Android-based devices.

Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents suggests Apple mightn’t be interested in a licensing deal, since HTC has nothing to offer in return. Apple holds all the cards, and in the absolute worst case HTC’s Android-running arsenal could be banned from the United States.

It’s been a while since we practised law, but we suspect it’s more likely that HTC would pay damages to Apple. Maybe. HTC is already thought to pay Microsoft $5 for every Android phone sold.

The target date for the final decision is December 6 at the latest.

Read more about: Android

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4 comments

blizzard7  Jul. 16, 2011 at 21:20

I swear Apple is trying to make Microsoft look like saints!

jmarcelino  Jul. 17, 2011 at 01:38

I know it's a lot to ask to read things nowadays, and it is fashionable to bash Apple in the media, but can people get their facts straight.

The patents are not "vague enough" and HTC was already threatening Apple with the two S3 patents they bought previous to this decision, so they DO have something to negotiate over.

JanSt / MOD  Jul. 17, 2011 at 10:31

The idea Apple would get Htc's and Android devices by others banned is ludicrous. It is about 'negotiations', but patent 'experts' like publicity, too.
Remember when Apple was 'going to get the Htc HD2 banned'? In some markets multitouch was disabled by default. And it took a click to enable it.

Apple's shareholders expect a bit of hardball in their interest. Apple can't just say, we're niche newbs - have fun.

shuwaz  Jul. 17, 2011 at 11:31

Apple vs the World! :D

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