The International Trade Commission ruled that HTC Corp. was copying aspects of Apple’s iPhone.
The International Trade Commission ruled that HTC Corp. was copying aspects of Apple’s iPhone, which is likely to be the first of many legal battles that impacts smartphones in the future.
The trade panel found that only one of the patents — which allows users to tap on a phone number in an email and immediately be connected — had been infringed by HTC.
The ruling was at least a partial victory for Apple. By prohibiting HTC from importing devices that run the software in question, the commission is essentially telling HTC it must figure out a way around the disputed patent or else stop bringing its phones into the United States. The court gave HTC until April to comply, or else come up with a workaround that would resolve the issue.
With Google’s Android system now the most widely used software on smartphones, an order barring or cutting back on the number of HTC phones entering the country would have severe repercussions at the retail level.