Apple Wins Import Ban on HTC Android Phones

Ryan Whitwam

It’s been over a year since Apple began its legal battle against Android in general, and HTC in particular. After a long review of the evidence, the International Trade Commission (ITC) has ruled in favor of Apple and banned HTC from importing or selling its devices in the U.S.. The ban is not immediate, but come April 19, 2012, HTC could be in for some pain.

The ruling comes down to U.S. Patent #5,946,647, which as we all know is a low-level system patent that covers the analysis and linking data structures. Disturbingly for Google, this technically leaves all of Android exposed to similar actions, not just HTC. Though, separate cases would need to be filed to ban more devices. Google and HTC may be able to avoid the sales ban if they are able to patch this part of the system. HTC claims to be working on it.

The case will go to the president, who has the option to veto the ban. However, the executive branch rarely interferes with these cases. If the ban happens as currently planned, HTC will be able tin import refurbished phones until December of 2013. This story is still developing, so stay tuned.

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