It is a victory for the Cupertino kids, but only just. Because the International Trade Commission threw out a second finding of patent infringement against the Taiwanese cellphone maker and thereby narrowed the final ruling to a single relatively minor patent, it’s unlikely that any HTC devices will ever be blocked from the US market.
The Verge, among a host of others, reports that the US International Trade Commission ruled against Taiwanese Android handset maker and for Apple in a highly publicized patent infringement case. The bottom line is that the ITC trimmed their ruling so that a HTC has been found to violate just a single patent.
We are gratified that the Commission affirmed the judge’s initial determination on the ‘721 and ‘983 patents, and reversed its decision on the ‘263 patent and partially on the ‘647 patent. We are very pleased with the determination and we respect it. However, the ‘647 patent is a small UI experience and HTC will completely remove it from all of our phones soon” — a public statement from HTC.
Further thereto, the Android handset maker says it is already moving to obviate the infringement well ahead of the April 19, 2012 date the ITC has set for a ban. Thereupon, this victory for Apple won’t change the world.
We think competition is healthy but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours” — Apple in a statement to the press.
The upside for Cupertino is that the ruling should be applicable to pretty much every Android maker and device running Android 2.3 through the current release, Ice Cream Sandwich.
How much hurt does that mean? Little if anything.
So, many months of sturm und drang latter, was it worth it for Apple?