Well here is some interesting and somewhat troubling news that was just pointed out to us. According to Fortune CNN, HTC could be facing a possible import ban here in the U.S. depending on the outcome of an appeal over two patent that Apple is going after HTC for.
Depending on the upcoming ruling, which will be handing down the final verdict of HTC’s appeal on Dec. 14th, HTC could end up facing an import ban of all their Android devices to the U.S. which would shrink their current market share of 25% down to 0%. This would happen right before the holidays no less when sales for mobile devices, as Christmas presents and what not, are generally at their highest.
Fortune CNN has the two patents in question as being:
- U.S. Patent No. 5,946,647 on 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”)
- U.S. Patent No. 6,343,263 on a “real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data” (while this sounds like a pure hardware patent, there are various references in it to logical connections, drivers, programs; in its complaint, Apple said that this patent “relates generally to providing programming abstraction layers for real-time processing applications”)
Apparently though if this ruling is in favor of Android, almost every other Android manufacturer could be the target of similar suits as just about every Android device uses this sort of stuff. It’s certainly not like this hasn’t happened before elsewhere in the world with Apple and an Android device manufacturer. Samsung has been dealing with this sort of thing with Apple over in Europe, Germany specifically, where the Galaxy Tablets where banned from import there although Samsung quickly got around that with a few minor design changes.
There is no way really to tell how the ruling with land come Dec. 14th but if you were planning on getting an HTC device this Christmas for yourself or as a gift, you may want to consider getting it sooner than later, just in case. One thing to note, even if the decision is in favor of Apple, that doesn’t mean that HTC will be banned, it’s just the strongest possibility of action Apple will request.
Thanks to Matt Pedigo for the tip!
Website Referenced: Fortune CNN