The ongoing legal spat between Apple and HTC has just taken another turn. Certain HTC phones will be banned from sale in the US from 19 April 2012, as the International Trade Commission ruled the Taiwanese company infringed an Apple patent.
Yet HTC is chuffed with this, the BBC reports. HTC is calling it "a win" because it only impacted one patent, as opposed to the 10 Apple initially claimed. Silver linings, and all that.
"We are very pleased with the determination and we respect it," reads a statement from HTC.
The patent relates to a feature in the user interface called 'data tapping'. This lets you grab embedded information, like a phone number or email address, and use it somewhere later on. It sounds a lot like Copy and Paste to us, so it must have something to do with how HTC employs it. HTC said it would remove the feature from all its phones soon.
Analysts say this shouldn't impact the company's US business. If it does remove the feature, only old handsets still using it will be banned. And if they're already on sale, they'll be ancient by April, so it shouldn't be too much of a blow.
In this case, six charges of alleged patent infringement were dropped. An ITC judge ruled HTC infringed two of the remaining four patents, and in this final ruling, it was decided only one had been infringed. Ah, the merry-go-round that is patent infringements.
Apple is still embroiled in disputes all over the world, most notoriously with Samsung, which also manufactures parts for Apple devices. The latest twist between the two was that a US judge refused to ban Samsung smart phones and tablets -- this was after Samsung already redesigned its tablet, which it must've been a bit peeved about. HTC previously accused Apple of infringing its patents -- a judge ruled against HTC in a preliminary hearing, but the final decision is expected in February.
Should they all get in the festive spirit and put their legal disputes behind them? And maybe have a good old sing-song? Or is Apple right to pursue these copycats in the courts? Let us know below or on our Facebook page.