Judge finds HTC guilty of infringing on two Apple patents [UPDATED]

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| July 15, 2011

HTC ThunderBolt Apple iPhone 4

Well, things in Apple v. HTC patent infringement dispute just got a whole lot more interesting. It's been revealed that an International Trade Commission judge has found that HTC is guilty of infringing on two of the 10 patents asserted by Apple in a complaint to the ITC. The decision is subject to a review by a six-person committee and, if the judge's finding stands, it could mean a ban on the sale of some HTC Android devices here in the U.S. depending on which patents HTC infringed upon. Unsurprisingly, HTC has said that it plans to appeal the judge's decision, saying that it will "vigorously fight these two remaining patents through an appeal before the ITC commissioners who make the final decision."

Even if the committee does uphold the judge's finding, a ban on HTC devices isn't a certainty as Apple could agree to a license on the patents in question with HTC. However, Florian Mueller over at FOSS Patents isn't sure that Apple would actually agree to a license unless there are patents that HTC controls that the Cupertino-based firm wants access to. We'll definitely be keeping an eye on this situation going forward, so keep your browser locked to PhoneDog for more details on the case as we get them.

UPDATE: AllThingsD has revealed that the two patents that HTC's been found guilty of violating are:

  • 5,946,647: "system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer"
  • 6,343,263: "real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data"

Florian Mueller believes that these two patents "very fundamental" and that they "are very likely to be infringed by code that is at the core of Android." Interestingly, these two patents are also a part of a suit going on between Apple and Motorola.

Via FOSS Patents, Bloomberg, AllThingsD