Top smart phones from Taiwanese tech giant including HTC Rezound and HTC Sensation XE will not be affected by HTC, Apple legal war
The International Trade Commission has placed an injunction against HTC Android phones that infringe on Apple’s intellectual property. However, analysts say that the ruling will not have any major effect on either HTC or Apple.
The ITC placed the import ban and it begins on April 19, 2012. The ruling was based on Apple’s patented invention for data detectors. These data detectors allow an operating system to recognize formatted data, like a phone number or e-mail address, within an unstructured document.
Used inside Apple’s iPhone and iPad, the data detectors allow users to see e-mail addresses and phone numbers as a hyperlink. Those links can be tapped to conduct a specific related action, like placing a phone call or composing an e-mail.
HTC has revealed that it will alter its designs to avoid infringing on Apple’s patent in a response to the ruling. This move will allow HTC to avoid the ban set to take place in April.
Analyst Mike Abramsky with RBC Capital Markets stated that the decision is both a loss and win for Apple. He cited the reason that HTC was found in violation of the data detector patent (U.S. Patent No. 5,946,647), but not of the more encompassing “Real-Time Signal Processing System for Serially Transmitted Data” (U.S. Patent No. 6,343,263).
Abramsky said, “While elimination of this feature slightly widens iPhone’s differentiation vs. HTC’s Android smartphones, it is a relatively small prize for Apple and a small dent against Android in the grand scheme of the smartphone patent wars. The ruling by itself may be disappointing to some investors hoping for a broader patent infringement ruling against Android.”
Another analyst with ISI Group, Brian Marshall added that he doesn’t expect the ITC decision to have an immediate impact on either Apple or HTC, though the ruling could lead to a stronger position for Apple against other Android vendors.
He further added, “We expect this ITC ruling will be appealed and won’t be material to AAPL or HTC shipments in the U.S. thorugh (the first half of 2012), but could lead to positive share shifts for AAPL over the immediate term should a ban take effect.”
He wrote in the report, “It will not be difficult for HTC to come out with alternative designs to minimize the impact and risks before the ban takes place, the sources claimed. Additionally, HTC devices including the HTC nexus One, Touch Pro, Diamond, Tilt II, Dream, myTouch, Hero and Droid Eris, of which Apple has previously accused of violating its patents, have almost run out of their product life cycles, the sources indicated.”