You may not remember an article we wrote, back near the beginning of December, about HTC being sued by Apple which could result in HTC Android devices being banned here in the USA. Well it seems that Apple has actually won that suit and HTC could now be facing that possible ban starting next year.
That’s right, HTC devices could very well be banned from sale here in the USA as soon as next year. The patent in question is actually a fairly important one as it is a feature many Android phones have. Patent #5,946,647 is the patent in question and is described as a:
system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data” (in its complaint, Apple provides examples such as the recognition of “phone numbers, post-office addresses and dates” and the ability to perform “related actions with that data”; one example is that “the system may receive data that includes a phone number, highlight it for a user, and then, in response to a user’s interaction with the highlighted text, offer the user the choice of making a phone call to the number”)
In more simple terms, when a message comes in that has a web address, phone number or any other bit of data that requires a link, the device automatically turns that information into a link for the user to click. With this victory under Apple’s belt, this means they can very well go after other manufacturers as well since just about every Android device does this.
There is a way around it though and that would be for HTC Android devices (and other manufacturer’s as well) to do this feature in a different manner then how it is currently being done. HTC is apparently already looking at a different means to do this so the actual possibility of the ban coming to reality isn’t all that huge, as long as HTC gets it done asap, otherwise their 25% market share here in the USA will end up being 0% until they do.
Website Referenced: Gizmodo