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Android superstar HTC could be forced out of the U.S. market if rival gadget-maker Apple has its way in court.  (Source: Reuters / Pichi Chuang)
If you can't beat them, sue them to death

Apple, Inc. (AAPL) is piling on patent infringement complaints against Android giant HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) in hopes that it can convince the U.S. International Trade Commission to block the import of "personal electronic devices" by HTC into the U.S.  

The complaint, "In the Matter of Portable Electronic Devices and Related Software, Complaint NO. 2828, U.S. International Trade Commission (Washington)", is the second in the case and follows the original complaint, "In the Matter of Certain Personal Data and Mobile Communications Devices and Related Software, and the HTC case against Apple is In the Matter of Portable Electronic Devices, 337-721" [PDF], filed 16 months ago, in 2010.  It is unclear why Apple filed a second complaint -- the ITC website does not list the contents of the complaint, merely the filing date, July 8.

On August 5 a federal judge will rule on whether to suggest that the ITC ban HTC's electronics imports, pending the outcome of Apple's two lawsuits against HTC [1][2].  That suggestion would be reviewed by the full presiding panel of judges before any final decision was made.

A blockage on U.S. shipments would be akin to financial disaster, if not outright death for the Taiwanese phonemaker.  The U.S. is HTC's most lucrative market, and without a steady supply of product it would see its revenue plunge.

If Apple is granted an injunction, HTC would likely be forced to try and settle.  However, given that Apple has fallen behind Android in sales, it is unclear whether Apple would accept a settlement, or would merely refuse to settle in order to kill the successful competitor.

HTC does have hope -- its recent acquisition, mobile chipmaker S3 Graphics Comp., beat Apple's ITC request in a similar case.  HTC scooped up S3 Graphics for a cool $300M USD in the hopes of strengthening its lineup of high-end smartphones.

On Sept. 16, an ITC judge will decide on whether to allow HTC's similar request to ban iPhone/iPad/iPod imports into the U.S., pending HTC's countersuit against Apple.

Apple has sued HTC, Motorola Solutions Inc. (MSI), and Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (SEO:005930) -- the three largest Android companies.  The lawsuits come at a time when Apple has fallen 2-to-1 behind Android in smartphone sales globally.



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This is getting out of hand
By phatboye on 7/11/2011 3:48:25 PM , Rating: 5
Seriously there is a dire need for patent reform and it needs to happen right now.




RE: This is getting out of hand
By kleinma on 7/11/2011 4:33:03 PM , Rating: 3
Yes and No. I am all for patent reform to protect against patent trolls who simply aquire patents and then hold them while never making any actual product or service using the patent, only to hold it over the heads of others who at some point do try.

However, in the case of Apple and Microsoft, they do actually make products, and they do actually compete in the market. So if Google/Android HS makers are using their IP without paying for it, then there should be some protections in place for the IP holders. That said, many patents are very very vauge and while it may be hard to argue certain ones that are considered "obvious". The vauge ones need to go, and the obvious ones need some more scrutiny (since obvious is relative to the time one actually looks at the patent to see how obvious it is, versus how obvious it may have been at the time it was filed). Something that seems obvious now, may have been never thought or heard of a few years back.


RE: This is getting out of hand
By bug77 on 7/11/11, Rating: -1
RE: This is getting out of hand
By vision33r on 7/11/2011 6:51:19 PM , Rating: 2
Pirate Bay and Limewire violated copyrights not patents.

Get your facts straight.


RE: This is getting out of hand
By WestleyTDPR on 7/11/2011 9:26:15 PM , Rating: 2
perhaps you should consider purchasing a mirror whilst we're on the subject of fact straightening, it may have been an irrelevant point made badly but no accusation of patent violation was made.

next time you try to jump down someones throat try not to leave your own jaw hanging.


RE: This is getting out of hand
By bug77 on 7/12/2011 6:27:28 AM , Rating: 2
Did I say they violated patents? I said they were taken offline for doing more harm than good (they were also relaying legit material). Which is what patents do these days.


RE: This is getting out of hand
By BZDTemp on 7/12/2011 4:35:27 AM , Rating: 2
Just for the record ThePirateBay is alive and well. Also I'm not sure they were ever ordered to shut down.


RE: This is getting out of hand
By tastyratz on 7/13/2011 9:23:37 AM , Rating: 2
lol to that. Not sure they were ever ordered to shut down? WHICH TIME. The difference is when told to shut down pickup shop and cease immediately they just replied... "no"


RE: This is getting out of hand
By AssBall on 7/11/2011 5:19:42 PM , Rating: 2
So HTC wouldn't be able to import until the results of the patent trials.

This would seem only fair if Apple was banned from importing their own hardware until the case is settled as well. Treat each as equals, don't defer to the plaintiff.


RE: This is getting out of hand
By stimudent on 7/12/2011 12:43:27 AM , Rating: 3
Big Brother (Apple) is at it again!


By BailoutBenny on 7/12/2011 3:47:06 PM , Rating: 1
I think IP should be abolished. My dream and your desire won't happen though; to do so would require constitutional amendments for it to be meaningfully changed so as to not be abused in the future. Corporations pay too well right now and too many people have grown up thinking IP actually helps the little guy.


Fear...
By The0ne on 7/11/2011 3:43:13 PM , Rating: 2
Gotta love it I say.




RE: Fear...
By cjohnson2136 on 7/11/2011 3:48:01 PM , Rating: 2
it's a great motivator


RE: Fear...
By GulWestfale on 7/11/2011 3:55:41 PM , Rating: 2
shouldn't that read if you can't beat them??


RE: Fear...
By cjohnson2136 on 7/11/2011 3:58:45 PM , Rating: 2
it should and does now


RE: Fear...
By mondo1234 on 7/11/2011 4:16:53 PM , Rating: 2
When MS took their patents up with HTC, they opted to license. If not, MS would have sued them too.


RE: Fear...
By Jeffk464 on 7/11/2011 5:08:17 PM , Rating: 5
Hey, apple stay the F away. I don't want any of your products, so stop trying to block products I do want.


RE: Fear...
By Kiffberet on 7/12/2011 7:39:39 AM , Rating: 1
People b1tch and moan because 'the chinese are stealing our technology'. But when it's apples technology, then it's 'Hey, apple stay the F away.'

If people copy your technology, then they got to pay you for it or not sell it.
If you don't like it, then go live in another country you ignorant tool.


RE: Fear...
By geddarkstorm on 7/12/2011 3:11:47 PM , Rating: 2
Apple's technology... which is made in China.


Sad..
By IcePickFreak on 7/11/2011 6:36:43 PM , Rating: 5
Got to love the 'successful' US companies like Apple. They outsource all their work to asian suicide factories, mark-up their product 500%, and tie up competitors in non-stop litigation.

A model all domestic companies should strive towards.




RE: Sad..
By sigmatau on 7/11/2011 8:42:15 PM , Rating: 5
Bingo!!!!

But hey, at least a few thousand investors can money instead of several hundred of thousand manufacturing jobs. Heaven forbid you raise taxes back to normal levels on these "hard working" investors.


RE: Sad..
By Kiffberet on 7/12/11, Rating: 0
RE: Sad..
By Kiffberet on 7/12/11, Rating: 0
On the edge of my seat
By lightfoot on 7/11/2011 6:15:42 PM , Rating: 2
I can't wait to see what new and "magical" lawsuit Apple comes out with next quarter.

Apple rules the courtrooms with the best and most innovative litigation. Microsoft could only hope to copy Apple in this latest market dominating strategy.

As a HUGE Apple fan I can only hope that one day Steve Jobs sues me too!




RE: On the edge of my seat
By Jeffk464 on 7/11/2011 8:39:17 PM , Rating: 2
He better hurry up.


RE: On the edge of my seat
By Kiffberet on 7/12/11, Rating: 0
RE: On the edge of my seat
By bug77 on 7/12/2011 8:03:10 AM , Rating: 2
So you know nothing about the lawsuits, but because it's Apple, and therefore GOOD, you assume HTC is actually stealing from them.


RE: On the edge of my seat
By Kiffberet on 7/12/11, Rating: 0
Better pick up that EVO 3D fast
By vision33r on 7/11/2011 6:49:47 PM , Rating: 2
Because the Android platform is gonna get buried soon. With today's Nortel patent portfolio going to MS/Apple/Sony/RIM this means they will soon become litigators against everyone else.

Google didn't seem sincere enough with Android to let this patent lottery go by the waist side.

HTC will be out of the US and forced to use WP7 along with Samsung. They may put out a WebOS phone but I doubt that's gonna get anywhere.

Google just does not seem committed to Android anymore.

GG.




By Jeffk464 on 7/11/2011 8:37:23 PM , Rating: 2
Man, I sure hope your wrong.


By WestleyTDPR on 7/11/2011 9:48:06 PM , Rating: 2
Firstly, even if an injunction was granted to prevent imports it would only be for retail distribution so you could still get one.
Secondly, just because they have the patents doesn't mean they'll litigate against everyone, doing so might risk having some patents overturned, licensing revenue from fear could prove more profitable
Thirdly, I'm not the grammer/spelling police but your third sentence (and i'm being generous to call it that) crosses tenses and it's wayside not waist side!
Fourthly, HTC will not be out of the US or forced to use WP7, see licensing, other products etc.

I could go on but I think you get the picture, there's no need to be rude after all.


Please!
By Visual on 7/12/2011 4:54:02 AM , Rating: 2
"On Sept. 16, an ITC judge will decide on whether to allow HTC's similar request to ban iPhone/iPad/iPod imports into the U.S., pending HTC's countersuit against Apple."
Now that would be sweet, sweet justice.




RE: Please!
By piroroadkill on 7/12/2011 7:42:46 AM , Rating: 1
That would make me cream my pants.
It would also shut whiny Apple the fuck up!

They're destined to have a baseline market share of trendy people who just neeeed to be seen with an Apple device, because that's how they've always been.

They need to accept that, and accept that the majority of people appreciate the competition and low prices Android handsets give them.


By zoogoober on 7/11/2011 3:52:33 PM , Rating: 2
It should be the same phone only the clock needs to display two minutes to midnight...




By BugblatterIII on 7/11/2011 6:11:44 PM , Rating: 2
No, my bad, there it is...




quoted from Steve Jobs himself
By F41TH00 on 7/11/2011 7:26:04 PM , Rating: 2
Steve Jobs: Picasso had a saying "Good artists copy great artists steal"
oh shoot... it's patented by Steve Jobs!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW0DUg63lqU




quote from Steve Jobs himself!
By F41TH00 on 7/11/2011 7:27:22 PM , Rating: 2
Steve Jobs: Picasso had a saying "Good artists copy great artists steal"

oh shoot, it's patented by Steve Jobs...




Wouldn't it be ironic?
By Avatar28 on 7/11/2011 10:35:04 PM , Rating: 2
If Apple was successful in get imports of HTC phones banned and then HTC is able to turn around and get imports of the iPod/iPhone banned a few weeks later. Any bets Apple would be real quick to settle and reach a mutual licensing deal at that point?




macdevdude?
By MrPerez on 7/12/2011 3:12:58 AM , Rating: 2
Where is Apples number one fan at?




By piroroadkill on 7/12/2011 4:29:05 AM , Rating: 2
This is extremely pathetic behaviour by Apple.




If you can't beat them...
By Nutzo on 7/12/2011 1:14:50 PM , Rating: 2
If you can't beat them, sue them to death.

The title pretty much sums up Apple's business plan.




vczc
By nananan on 7/12/2011 8:40:11 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.benzlogo.com/

Free transport




fda
By weiwei1 on 7/11/11, Rating: -1
sfdgfdsgf
By sdfdsfsdfs on 7/11/11, Rating: -1
"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer














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