Back in June, it was reported that a patent dispute had been going on between Apple and HTC. The judge found that HTC had indeed been infringing upon two of Apple’s patents, and initially had ruled in Apple’s favor. Then, Bloomberg reported that HTC is interested in striking a deal with Apple for the patent dispute between the companies. FOSS Patents pointed out that these two patent infringements could put Android in serious trouble. In October, ITC pointed out that Apple did not violate these two patents back then, but now that decision has been changed. Now, Apple has won this patent dispute. You know, because Android clearly isn’t infringing on any of Apple’s patents.
What Apple has won is a formal import ban scheduled to commence on April 19, 2012, but relating only to HTC Android phones implementing one of two claims of a “data tapping patent”: a patent on an invention that marks up phone numbers and other types of formatted data in an unstructured document, such as an email, in order to enable users to bring up other programs (such as a dialer app) that process such data.
The win gets even better for Apple. Not only does it increase their chances of winning against copy-cat Samsung and others, but they also have won an import ban on certain HTC Android phones that infringe the patents. HTC can overcome this ban by ensuring Android drops the feature or implements it in a way that does not infringe. Now, you have to wonder…where’s Google when you need them? Instead of helping HTC, they kept quiet. According to the decision, the patent being infringed is:
– U.S. Patent No. 5,946,647 on a “system and method causes a computer to detect and perform actions on structures identified in computer data.”