Recently HTC launched multiple lawsuits against Apple, accusing it of infringing some of its patents. This was made easier after HTC bought some patents from Google, which in turn got access to a large volume of patents following its purchase of Motorola Mobility. However, despite the efforts of HTC, Apple still seems to have a strong legal advantage over its competitors. The latest blow to HTC came when U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that Apple did not infringe upon any of HTC’s patents.
The panel was composed of six judges who came to the conclusion that while the patents presented by HTC were indeed valid, Apple did not infringe them. This ruling is significant because the ITC does have the power to ban imports of products that violate the patents of other companies. However, HTC vowed to challenge the initial findings in hopes of winning some sort legal victory against Apple. The patents that were at issue covered a smart phone’s dialer, address list, and power management features.
In the wider context this is yet another victor for Apple against Android and this comes just as Apple successfully blocked the sale of Samsung’s latest generation smart phone and Tablet PC in multiple countries including Germany, Australia and the Netherlands. The patents war is certainly going to get more intense over time because both sides are armed to the teeth and ready for a long protracted conflict. This just goes to highlight the value of the growing market, of which both rivals are battling to gain control.
In the future, however, the focus may be less on hardware and more on software and this could open up a lot of new possibilities and opportunities for new legal confrontations. This is important to note because smart phones have a lot of potential in terms of features and not just better graphics and processors. All the processing power in the world is ultimately useless if users cannot get an interactive experience with the phone.