Couple of days back, we had reported that the US International Trade Commission (ITC) had ruled that HTC has infringed on two Apple patents and had banned some HTC phones from April 2012.
At that time, we had noted that if HTC can work with Google to come up with an implementation of the feature without infringing on Apple’s patent or remove the feature completely then the ban on HTC products won’t have any effect.
It looks like HTC and Google were well prepared or expecting the judgement to go against them as Bloomberg reports that HTC already has a workaround to avoid ITC ban.
HTC Corp. has already completed a technical workaround to skirt a U.S. agency ruling that found a user interface in some handsets infringed an Apple Inc. patent.
“It’s actually quite rarely used,” HTC Chief Executive Officer Peter Chou said of the feature. The company will continue to work with Google Inc. to “protect ourselves,” Chou said in a media briefing at the company’s Taoyuan, Taiwan headquarters today.
That should give HTC and Google more than enough time to roll out the updates before the April 2012 ban.
Wall Street Journal reports that Google Mobile Senior Vice President Andy Rubin who was also present at the joint news conference had this to say about the situation:
The executive made the remarks at a joint news conference with Google Mobile Senior Vice President Andy Rubin, who said the ITC decision was encouraging because Apple’s complaints that more fundamental parts of the Android operating system had violated its patents weren’t upheld.
“The majority of these patents [in Apple’s complaint against HTC] were claimed in the operating system itself, but actually in this case what was allowed…is some user interface feature of an application, not the operating system itself, so that’s why I’m very optimistic in basically my desire to achieve patent peace on the overall platform,” Mr. Rubin said.
He added that the ruling is just the beginning of a battle over intellectual property that will extend for several years and that he doesn’t believe the patent system in the U.S. works for software innovation.
We tend to agree with Rubin, the patent system for software innovation needs a major overhaul. What do you think? Sound off in the comments.