HTC Corp (宏達電) can continue to bring its newest smartphones into the US while a trade agency investigates whether the smartphones violate an order that the Taiwanese company stop infringing an Apple Inc patent.
The US International Trade Commission (USITC) on Monday instituted an investigation into Apple’s claim that HTC continues to infringe a patent in violation of an order issued in December last year. The agency denied an emergency request to have the HTC smartphones, including the One X and EVO 4G LTE, detained at the US border. Notice was posted on the agency’s electronic docket.
“HTC confirmed that the notice was received, as an expected matter of process, and will vigorously defend its case,” the Taoyuan-based company said in an e-mailed statement.
HTC’s smartphones were held up at the border in May, delaying plans by Sprint Nextel Corp to sell the HTC EVO 4G. The smartphones, made in Taiwan, were allowed into the US after HTC assured US Customs and Border Protection that it had worked around the Apple patent.
Apple filed a complaint last month, accusing HTC of making inaccurate representations to customs officials to bypass the import ban, known as an exclusion order.
“The commission finds that Apple has not demonstrated the propriety of temporary emergency action here,” the agency wrote. “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 commission’s limited exclusion order.”