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Apple victory over HTC in smartphone patent battle

21 December 2011

After a lengthy legal dispute, the International Trade Commission (a US trade panel that investigates patent infringement involving imported goods) has ruled that HTC phones infringe one Apple patent.

HTC will by 19 April 2012 remove from all their devices the infringing feature, which enables the user to convert embedded data (such as a phone number) into a hyperlink.

The ITC embarked on their initial investigation in April 2010 after Apple complained that HTC infringed ten patents, which could have led to a ban of all HTC devices in the US market. Apple later dropped six patents and an ITC judge ruled that HTC had infringed two of the remaining four patents. This overdue final ITC decision, which follows a request for a review of their previous ruling from both companies, has been welcomed by the Taiwanese mobile phone-maker.

This result will be of interest to those following the patent disputes that Apple are embroiled in relating to Android technology, most notably with South Korean rival Samsung.

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