updated 07:32 pm EDT, Wed June 13, 2012
Still has to fend off Apple ITC complaints
Smartphone maker HTC has decided not to pursue an appeal of an ITC ruling that Apple had not infringed on its patents, filing for a motion to dismiss the appeal before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) and thus finally ending it's two-year-old ITC case against Apple. The ITC had found Apple innocent of infringing on four HTC patents back in February, but HTC had initially filed for an appeal. The company still has ITC cases against Apple through S3 Graphics.
The loss of the original ITC case may have been a factor in HTC's decision to complete its acquisition of S3, even though the first S3-related win against Apple was eventually overturned in November of last year. S3 Graphics brought a second ITC complaint against Apple in September of last year that has yet to be resolved, and the purchase of S3 will mean that HTC gains access to the company's 270-strong patent portfolio, though few are expected to be relevant in any future legal battles with Apple.
While the dismissal will be welcome news to Apple's legal team, it does not mark the end of all disputes with HTC. In addition to the S3 ITC complaint, HTC is going to file for a review of the recent dismissal of five other patents the company had "borrowed" from Google to go after Apple with. Standard ITC procedure is that an initial judgement (which in this case determined that HTC had no standing to sue with Google's patents) can be appealed to the ITC Commission. Should the commission affirm the original ruling, notes patent case observer Florian Mueller, HTC could still appeal the ITC final decision to the CAFC, though it might drop the matter as it did today.
HTC also has an appeal in place against the import ban awarded to Apple in December over the "data tapping" patent, but in fact Apple is appealing to widen the scope of that ban as well which could add to HTC's financial troubles if Apple is the winner in either of those efforts. HTC is also still defending itself against two ITC complaints of patent infringement from Apple, the latest one covering 29 new HTC devices that was filed just last week.
As Mueller notes, there are also HTC-Apple cases still pending in Germany and in the UK. [via Florian Mueller]