Sun, Dec 18, 2011 - Page 11 News List

US ITC to review one of HTC’s cases against Apple

Bloomberg and CNA

HTC Corp’s (宏達電) loss in its patent-infringement case against Apple Inc will be partially reviewed, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) said.

A judge at the trade commission had in October rejected HTC’s claims that the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad tablet were infringing four patents. The six-member agency, which can block imports of products that violate US patent rights, said in a notice on Friday that it would take a closer look at the judge’s non-infringement finding for one of the patents. The remaining three won’t be reviewed.

The case was filed in retaliation for a complaint Apple lodged against HTC in March last year that is scheduled to be ruled on tomorrow.

The cases are part of a broader fight in which technology companies, including Apple, HTC, Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc, Samsung Electronics Co and Microsoft Corp, are vying for an increased share of the smartphone market.

Apple and HTC each have two ITC cases pending against each other. The case filed in May last year, on Friday accused Apple of infringing patents related to managing a phone’s power supply, protecting data and storing contacts.

“Competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours,” said Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for California-based Apple.

HTC declined to comment on the case.

The patent that will be subject of the review, which HTC received in 2006 based on internal research, relates to a way to control how the phone switches between modes of operation to manage its power supply. The commission is scheduled to issue a final decision on the case on Feb. 17.

The commission said there was no violation of three other HTC patents, including one for a method to protect data from being lost when the phone doesn’t have enough power.

The other two relate to ways to store, access and use contact information in a phone address book. HTC acquired those two patents in 2009, about a year before Apple filed its first complaint, according to information on the US Patent and Trademark Office Web site.

There have been concerns that HTC would lose the case, which would lead the ITC to ban sales of HTC products in the company’s main market — the US.

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