HTC vs. Apple

HTC won a major battle against Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in an ongoing patent dispute between the companies when the US International Trade Commission (ITC) rejected Apple’s request for a ban on HTC Android devices.

Late last year, Apple won an import ban of HTC’s Android phones, but it seems now that HTC have found a solution to overcome the ban.

The ban pertains to infringement of Apple’s “data detectors” patent, which as per Apple, HTC devices continue to infringe. The “data detectors” patent detects actionable information and converts it into a link. This technology was first used by Apple way back in 1990 in Mac OS 8 and recently only it was introduced in data detection.

ITC turning down the request of iPhone maker said (as quoted by Bloomberg), ”The commission finds that Apple has not demonstrated the propriety of temporary emergency action here, the commission will not direct Customs to detain all subject HTC products because the commission does not have the information necessary to determine whether the respondents are currently violating the commission’s limited exclusion order.”

Earlier in May, some of the Smartphone’s of HTC were being held up at U.S. Customs for ensuring compliance with ITC orders but after a couple of weeks they were slowly allowed to enter the U.S.

Presently, more than half of HTC revenues come from US, and now it has also come under the threat, owing to the intense competition from iPhone 4S. HTC Corp (TPE:2498) recently reported a fall of 70 percent YOY in its profits for March quarter. Its market share has also dropped from 6.3 percent in February to 6.1 percent in May compared to 15 percent and 13.5 percent of Apple for the same period. Now if at such critical juncture for HTC, ITC decides to enforce the injunction against Taiwanese firm, it would severely hamper HTC’s plan for a comeback in US.

To resolve the matter, HTC and Apple are expected to discuss settlement options later this summer.

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