The U.S. International Trade Commission issued its decision in favour of Apple over a patent dispube between Apple and HTC. The International Trade Commission is a federal agency which can enforce bans on products shipping to U.S.
The order states that certain features of HTC’s Android phones infringed upon a patents owned by Apple. This will put the ban on HTC”s Android phone and will prevent HT from importing infringing handsets to United States from April 12, 2012 onwards.
The decision came from the Trade Commission when Apple accused of HTC of violating and copying 10 of its patent. Finally the ITC decided to ban 2 of the patents out of filed 10 patents.
But HTC did not seem to be worried by this decision of ITC. They infact told they have a batter plan to deal with it. Further they said that they will simply remove the copied features rather than loosing the business. According to the figures, Google’s Android is the leading operating system in the market with around 42.8% of the total share of smartphone. And the major Android seller is HTC with 15% of the market. Apple’s iOS has 28.3% share. So if ban is imposed, these figures can alter drastically and can turn into favour of Apple. This may cause Google to lose market share which will directly affect its reputation.
The whole fight was about few of the patents of Apple like to automatically make a phone call after tapping on a phone number in an e-mail or webpage, make a calendar or an appointment from e-mail, automatically detect the location of the address from whom an e-mail is received. These patents were copied by thy HTC Android phones. So some of these features will be missing from the HTC phone.
HTC’s General Counsel Lei said :“We are gratified that the commission affirmed the judge’s 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.” Though HTC was accused of copying 2 of the patents, still they are happier with the outcome as the decision was restricted to 2 patents only.
Though Apple has won the battle , but still HTC did not lose much in this case. As ample of time is given to HTC by the International Trade Commission until April 19, 2012. So, HTC will be able to clear all his stocks until then and after the deadline the models copying the same patent will be banned. HTC will solve the technical specifications and will be well prepaired to re-launch its product with more enhanced configurations.
So, the question arises “Does it going to affect other Android phones too?” It is not clear until now, how many smartphones violate this patent of Apple. But it is believed that the Android phones of version 1.6 to 2.2 will be going to be affected. And if it happens, then many of the smartphones would be in trouble including Motorola Droid Eris, Nexus One , and many more.
If experts are too be believed then this decision will boost Apple’s confidence and prove positive to them. As many of the patents fight of Apple are still in court, this decision could be fruitful. But until, no need to worry for other Android users.