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Apple lodges third ITC complaint against HTC [U]

updated 03:18 pm EDT, Wed June 6, 2012

29 devices targeted

[Updated: HTC denies charges] Apple has filed a third patent infringement complaint against HTC via the US International Trade Commission, says FOSS Patents. The complaint was submitted on Monday, and accuses 29 HTC devices of infringing on an Apple patent, US Patent No. 5,946,647, which involves the automatic detection of data such as phone numbers, email addresses and URLs. In fact, Apple has accused HTC of violating the patent in the past, something which resulted in an injunction against HTC Android phones last December. Despite HTC workarounds to avoid violations, the company still encountered obstacles at US customs.

Apple is asking the ITC for an emergency proceeding, and measures that would block any further infringement. Some of the HTC products targeted by Apple include the One X, the Evo 4G LTE, the Incredible 2, and the Sensation 4G. The complaint reportedly features screenshots of the One S, showing its interface giving users the options to open a link in a browser, copy it, share it, or send it to Facebook.

The issue, though, is believed to be how HTC devices approach data, rather than any interface element per se.

The actions against HTC are part of a global campaign by Apple to counter Google's Android platform. Lawsuits have been filed against companies including HTC, Samsung, and Motorola; infamously, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs considered Android "stolen" from the iPhone, and vowed to go to "thermonuclear war" over the matter.

Update: HTC has responded to the complaint, saying its new models are in compliance with the ITC rulings. The company cites the recent clearance of several HTC devices after a brief delay in Customs as proof the company is no longer infringing on Apple's patent.

by MacNN Staff



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