Back in March 2010, Apple had filed a lawsuit against HTC alleging that the Taiwan based handset manufacturer has infringed on nearly 20 of Apple’s proprietary inventions relating to the iPhone’s UI, architecture and hardware.
Apple had also filed a second lawsuit earlier in the week, claiming infringement of 5 more patents.
When Apple filed the lawsuit last year, Steve Jobs had stated:
We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We’ve decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.
A US International Trade Commission (ITC) judge has ruled today that HTC has infringed on two patents. According to AllThingsD, the judge found HTC infringed on the following two patents:
Patent No. 5,946,647: “System and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data”
Patent No. 6,343,263: “Real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data”
HTC plans to appeal the ruling, but if it fails then it will have to work with Google to figure out a workaround as the patents seem to be based on software built into the core of the Android operating system or pay Apple royalties for licensing the IP. According to GigaOM’s Ryan Kim, this could also be a major blow to Google’s Android platform:
Apple’s win could deal an even tougher blow to the Android platform because one or both of the patents in the dispute appear to be based on software built into the core of the Android operating system, said Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents. He said they are also at issue in the Apple’s case against Motorola. That could lead to more headaches for other Android manufacturers, who could face similar suits from Apple and the threat of an ITC ban of their products.
ITC has the power to ban the sale of infringing products in the U.S. It will be interesting to see how Apple plans to settle the dispute after scoring a legal victory today. Any guesses?