Apple Wins HTC Patent Suit

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has ruled in favor of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) in its patent case against High Tech Computer Corp. (HTC) (Taiwan: 2498) and has announced that certain of HTC’s Android-based smartphones will be banned from U.S. import starting April 19.

The ITC announced its ruling on Monday.

Apple sued HTC in March. In July, the ITC found the handset maker to be in violation of two out of the 10 patents Apple called into question. Today’s ruling upholds that decision. (See Apple Sues HTC.)

Why this matters
The loss is detrimental to HTC, whose high-end Android smartphones are making a name for the company in the U.S. The handset maker, however, said in a statement to Boy Genius Report that it was well prepared for this decision and that its designers have created alternative solutions for one of the patents it was said to violate.

What’s more unsettling is what this could mean for the entire Android ecosystem. It could set a precedent for more rulings in Apple’s favor, as its hardware partners all rely on the same open-source software.

Android’s hardware makers, and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) itself, have been hit continually with lawsuits — which led Google to make a bid for Motorola Mobility Inc. (NYSE: MMI) to shore up its patent defenses. But even if the Moto deal is approved, Google’s days in the courtroom won’t be over any time soon. (See It’s BT’s Turn to Sue Google.)

For more
HTC isn’t Apple’s only patent target, nor is Apple the only company going after Android. Read up on legal proceedings around the globe below.

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