updated 12:55 am EDT, Tue July 3, 2012
HTC devices accused of willfully violating Apple's patents
Despite Apple's harshly-phrased claim that HTC not only continues to infringe a patent in violation of US International Trade Commission (ITC) but is lying about it, the agency denied the emergency request to have the HTC One X and EVO 3G LTE (among others) stopped at the border. The Taiwan-manufactured phones were allowed into the US following injunction after HTC assured Customs and Border Protection that the Apple patent had been engineered around, and the phones were no longer infringing on any patents.
The HTC One X and EVO 3G LTE were originally enjoined in mid-May for violating the "data tapping" patent to convert a data item in a text message or email into a phone actionable item, like dialing a phone number or opening a browser to launch a link. HTC stated in December that they had a plan to make the phones compliant, but did not provide proof before the customs stoppage began. The phones were released from the ban on May 29 after an assurance by HTC that the products had been modified and a perfunctory inspection by US Customs prior to release.
Apple's complaint filed last week claims that not only does the HTC One X and EVO 3G LTE continue to violate Apple's patents despite HTC's assurances that they do not, but that HTC has willingly told falsehoods to escape the customs ban. HTC's alleged prevarication "provides further support for Apples request for relief and temporary emergency action. As set forth in its enforcement complaint, Apple is concerned that these misstatements formed the basis for U.S. Customs and Border Protection's apparent determination not to enforce the [import ban] and exclude HTCs new Android Products."
HTC believes that Apple's claims exceed the bounds of the original complaint. The statement by the ITC is seemingly not a denial of Apple for lack of propriety, but more a lack of information and urgency. "The commission finds that Apple has not demonstrated the propriety of temporary emergency action here," ITC officials stated. "The commission will not direct Customs to detain all subject HTC products because the commission does not have the information necessary to determine whether the respondents are currently violating the commissions limited exclusion order."
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