A US International Trade Commission (ITC) judge has ruled that several of HTC’s smartphones are guilty of infringing on Apple’s patents, and as such they’ll be banned from import effective April 19 next year.
However, HTC has taken the news on the chin and reckons it can pull off a cheeky sidestep, ultimately making the ruling moot.
The ITC bawled: “Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has found a violation of section 337 in this investigation and has issued a limited exclusion order prohibiting importation of infringing personal data and mobile communications devices and related software.
“The Commission has determined that exclusion of articles subject to this order shall commence on April 19, 2012.”
Bad news for HTC. Or is it? The Taiwanese manufacturer issued the following statement to BGR: “We are very pleased with the determination and we respect it. However, the ‘647 patent is a small UI experience and HTC will completely remove it from all of our phones soon.”
The ruling comes some 21 months after Apple initially took action against HTC. At that time, the late Steve Jobs explained: “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.”