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  (Source: LucasFilm Ltd.)
U.S. Customs is blocking shipments of HTC One X and Evo 4G LTE "indefinitely"

Reeling HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) didn't need any more bad news.  

After a meteoric rise which placed it briefly atop the U.S. smartphone sales charts, it closed out 2011 with a deep decline in units sold.  Determined to avoid the fate looming over other troubled rivals like Research in Motion, Ltd. (TSE:RIM), HTC saw a big revitalization push, championed by a slew of impressive flagship phones, such as the HTC One X and the refreshed Evo 4G LTE.  The bid might have succeeded.

It might have suceeded had HTC not run afoul of punitive legal juggernaut Apple, Inc. (AAPL), that is.  HTC didn't need more bad news, but that is precisely what it received.

I. Data Tapping Ban Comes to Fruition

While HTC One X carrier AT&T, Inc. (T) and Evo 4G LTE Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) have some stock of the new Android smartphones, hopes of strong sustained sales may have been crushed this week.  U.S. Customs officials announced that they were freezing imports of the Taiwanese designed devices, on the grounds of Apple's successful infringement case against HTC where it scored a preliminary injunction via the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).

The U.S. is the second largest smartphone market in the world, and by far the largest market for HTC, whose market share in China -- the world's largest market -- is minimal.  That makes the import ban in the U.S. all the more painful.  

The ban, which was confirmed by HTC this week, took effect on April 19, following a successful ITC claim by Apple last fall, which is running parallel to Apple's multiple infringement lawsuits against HTC in U.S. Federal Court.


Specifically, Apple's import ban focuses on U.S. Patent No. 5,946,647.  The patent claims the invention of a process that converts phone numbers or addresses found inside apps into queryable objects.  Called "data tapping" for short, the feature allows you to tap a number on a webpage within the web browser or from an email inside the email client app and be redirected to the phone app to make a call to that number.

Ironically a similar feature, which recognized web and file system urls and converted them to actionable links existed in versions of Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Office Suite dating back to the 1990s.  Further, other companies implemented custom software to parse office documents and create specialized actionable marked up versions in the early 2000s [example].  In short, Apple's "invention" hardly is new or novel.

However, the fact that it was granted a (re)patent on the idea of actionable text on a smartphone has enabled its legal team to successfully attack Android phonemakers.  Apple has not sued Microsoft -- another rival phonemaker -- both because Microsoft likely owns patents on similar technology that predate its patents, and because Microsoft and Apple have a broad cross-licensing agreement in place that basically prevents the companies from suing each other.  Apple and Google, Inc. (GOOG) -- maker of Android OS -- have no such agreement.

II. HTC Already Removed the Feature, ITC Bans Imports Anyways 

Ironically, HTC claims that the data tapping feature which is responsible for the ban has already been removed from its handsets.

Data tapping in action [Image Source: imgur]

HTC has shipped modified versions of Android, which have specialized browser app and email client app bills that prevent phone-numbers from being converted to actionable links.

Despite complying with the ruling, U.S. Customs (enforcing the ITC order) appears to be blocking imports "indefinitely" anyways, while it "inspects" the handsets to determine if the feature has been fully removed.  In short, HTC has tried to play by the rules, but it may lose weeks to months of sales -- millions of dollars in revenue -- due to Apple's successful litigation and the Custom department's sluggish pace and determining whether the ban should be lifted.

HTC's tone was grim in a statement it released this week, commenting:

The US availability of the HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE has been delayed due to a standard U.S. Customs review of shipments that is required after an ITC exclusion order. We believe we are in compliance with the ruling and HTC is working closely with Customs to secure approval. The HTC One X and HTC Evo 4G LTE have been received enthusiastically by customers and we appreciate their patience as we work to get these products into their hands as soon as possible.

Bonnie Chang, an analyst of Yuanta Securities says there's no telling how long it might be before the ITC/Customs might lift the ban, given that they thus far have appeared to refuse to spend what would seem to be an afternoon's worth of work to verify that the feature is gone.

States Ms. Chang to Reuters, "It's really hard to tell how much longer the phones will be held up at the customs because the review has already taken a month."

HTC, like Apple, manufactures its handsets in China.  Thus an import ban is tantamout to a sales ban, once existing stock is exhausted.

III. Surprise Ban Could Spell Doom for the Troubled Android Phonemaker

Shares in the smartphone maker have plunged 10 percent this week on the bad news.

The ban on brand new handsets came as somewhat of a shock to HTC, as it had made it clear that it had removed data tapping from all new models.  Despite that, the ITC/Customs seems to have implemented a draconian import ban on the new handsets "just to check".  Previously it was thought that only older handsets, which were targeted in the case would be banned from import, pending inspection.

A Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS) investors note comments, "Previously, it was expected that general exclusion order from the patent infringement referred to only old models from HTC.  However, the latest news suggest otherwise with all models (new and old) potentially at risk."

The lost revenue could be a potentially game ending development for HTC, who was already struggling.  In that regard HTC may become a martyr of sorts for Apple's critics and patent reform advocates in the United States.

Game over
A long import ban could be fatal to financially troubled HTC. [Image Source: Smart Dots]

After all, larger Android phonemakers Motorola Mobility Inc. (MMI) and Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) have escaped similar import bans, thanks to their large patent portfolios.  By contrast, while HTC's phones have the exact same features as Motorola and Samsung (such as data tapping), it alone has suffered a U.S. ban, thanks in part to its smaller patent portfolio and much smaller legal team.  

In that regard Apple has been accused of "picking on the little guy".  But if Apple is indeed legally "bullying" HTC, it may turn out to be quite the lucrative move.  While technophiles will likely bitterly oppose the move, most of Apple's critics were already Android buyers, and they overall represent a minority of smartphone users.

If Apple can succeed in putting HTC under such a crushing financial hardship that it collapses, the average non-technophile user stands a strong chance of converting to an iPhone, which is now on most of America's networks.  For all the frustration from the technophile and pro-Android community, there's little they can do to prevent that, as Apple's brilliant marketing machine and polished legal team roll along.

Sources: HTC [via The Verge], Reuters

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A giant game of chess, at the expense of the user....
By EasyC on 5/16/2012 11:55:35 AM , Rating: 5
Apple knows it's been ursurped technologically and more people are finally realizing it. So instead of actually creating something competitive, they resort to questionable legal tactics of preventing competitors from delivering phones.

This could have a lot more rammifications than just HTC going down. Sprint has taken an abundance of pre-orders for this device (myself included), and refuse to give refunds due to how their pre-order system is set up.

So Apple is essentially the cause of my money being held in limbo over something that has already been addressed. Why is this held indefinitely? Demo a phone and check it for the infringement. Are they opening every single device? What does this mean for retailers who already have units waiting for sale on Friday? I know Best Buys have them in stock.

Why can't a judge step up and smack the *$(%& out of Apple?

By EasyC on 5/16/2012 12:29:57 PM , Rating: 5
Tony is that you?

This has been beaten to death. Apple doesn't innovate much. They copy just like the next guy. The only difference is they try to bully people legally with the stuff they copied.

By wiz220 on 5/16/2012 1:00:49 PM , Rating: 5
The CPU/GPU that you refer to is based on the design of a CPU/GPU created by ARM. The modifications done to said ARM processor were done by a company that Apple acquired. They also bought the touch screen technology that they use, they did not develop it in-house. Yes, Apple, quite innovative.

By jimbojimbo on 5/16/2012 6:02:59 PM , Rating: 5
Oh my god that is one of the dumbest commends I've read on this forum!! They were the first to use touch screen technology??? Oh man. How can you muster the intelligence to use a computer??

Next thing you'll say they were the first to have a smartphone.

By marsovac on 5/18/2012 7:56:01 AM , Rating: 3
None of that is innovation, since nothing has been innovated.

That is called improving.

Innovation is creating something new, not yet existing before. Not improving old products.

in-nova(...) where nova comes from Latin nova/novus which means NEW, not IMPROVED OLD.

By steven975 on 5/16/2012 1:12:25 PM , Rating: 5
The SGX543MP2 is not designed by Apple...Imagination Technologies (PowerVR) designed that.

Apple lightly massaged the ARM Cortex A9 and packaged it with an off-the-shelf GPU.

And if you think a dual core 800Mhz A9 is the fastest mobile's not.

Apple innovates some things. Other people innovate some things. I have a better-working but less folksy version of Siri on my OG droid that's in the closet.

I can name one innovation from other phone manufacturers...LED screens...which Apple does not have. They have LED lit LCD screens, but Samsung uses organic LED lit (AMOLED) screens. They have the highest resolution tablet screen (and I have the iPad3), but Samsung and LG designed that.

Swipe to unlock? neonode.

Apps? Palm/Handspring...i had apps on my visorphone in 2001.

3G...about 3 years late

4G...umm, yea.

They make some great stuff and I even own some of their stuff (iPad3, MBA), but they are not the be-all-end-all...they actually play it very safe on the innovation front. After all, the iPhone and iPad sync via cable...yea, I know you can do wifi now...but they sync and back up 10 years ago.

By coferj on 5/16/2012 1:36:26 PM , Rating: 5
There really needs to be an upvote or something for this. Well said.

By coferj on 5/16/2012 2:45:38 PM , Rating: 3
Apple invented capacitive multitouch.


The Capacitive Multi-Touch that Apple claims to have invented was actually invented about 6 years before they applied for the patent.

This technology was created by a company that Apple purchased in 2005, Fingerworks, the same year they applied for the patent. They were just the first to implement this technology on a mobile device. So, innovative, but not the inventor.

To be completely accurate, there were early versions of capacitive multi-touch created by CERN in the late 70's.

By sprockkets on 5/16/2012 11:51:42 PM , Rating: 4
screw that, capacitive touch was available way before fingerworks. The FIC openmoko phone demoed multitouch gestures in the google maps app.

Oh sure, apple put it all together. But they pretend they invented it all by marketing the hell out of it so the real history gets distorted.

By Cheesew1z69 on 5/16/2012 4:55:18 PM , Rating: 5
Apple invented the smartphone overnight when it launched the iPhone.
Except, they didn't.

By EasyC on 5/16/2012 1:22:23 PM , Rating: 5
LOL, your post is laughable. Let me explain why.

1) Apple isn't banning anyone over copying their CPU/GPU design now are they? No, they are trying to block an HTC phone because of a patent they had no rights to in the first place.

2) The highest resolution, yes. Is it usable? No. I had an iPad 3rd Gen.... using it for media produced an identical viewing area to that of my old Galaxy tab... 8.9. Resolution means nothing if half the pixels are black during usage... If you want a photo, I have one :) you'll also find the GT8.9 had noticeably better color depth even with an anti glare screen protector.

3) Waiting for who to catch up to what on the tablet front? I dunno about you, but I want a tablet that's useful for something other than media consumption and can charge in less than 8 hours. All they did with the iPad 3rd gen is take an iPad 2, double the GPU and quadruple the resolution. Oh, and stuff a huge battery in it because who needs to innovate battery savings? Like I said, I owned one.

You're getting all bent because someone said something against your beloved Apple, and yet I'm the pathetic one? Go back to being a sheep.

By Cerin218 on 5/16/2012 1:41:05 PM , Rating: 4
So Apple invented the tablet PC? Microsoft didn't have one late 90's?

So Apple invented the SmartPhone? Again, Preexisting technology. There was even a dual core processor in my Sprint Mogul.

Even the MP3 player was preexisting.

The IOS on the iPhone is the innovation I would give them credit for.

When Apple comes up with new technology that I haven't seen before THEN I will be impressed. Something like Wireless HDMI. THAT'S innovation. Thunderbolt. THAT'S innovation.

By mellomonk on 5/16/2012 3:18:55 PM , Rating: 1
When Apple comes up with new technology that I haven't seen before THEN I will be impressed. Something like Wireless HDMI. THAT'S innovation. Thunderbolt. THAT'S innovation.

Innovation is more then being the first to think up or create something. Lots of people & companies have ideas and even prototypes. Innovation is about applying those ideas and inventions in new and/or practical terms. Sure MS played with tablet PCs, but they went nowhere. The true 'Tablet' didn't click until the iPad. The innovation of the iPod was the iPod/iTunes combination and the ecosystem that developed around it. Smartphones where horrible (WinMo survivor here) until Apple pulled together ideas learned from the iPod and the touch screen tech to create the iPhone.

In all these cases Apple crafted combinations of tech into products that clicked with people and changed the landscape. Henry Ford didn't invent the automobile or the production line. But his Model T turned the market upside down and created the path that many others would follow. Twisting ideas, sometimes decades old, and applying them in novel ways producing product that change people's lives. Innovation.

By nikon133 on 5/16/2012 6:10:33 PM , Rating: 5
It seems - for Apple and their mob of fanatical followers - innovation is being first to patent something. Innovative patenting?

By Targon on 5/16/2012 9:01:07 PM , Rating: 1
Since when has a slight improvement in an existing idea been really innovative? Faster processor or multi-core processor is something the PC industry has been doing, so that is NOT being innovative. Saying "using this idea from a PC on a phone" is NOT being innovative.

The screen in Apple devices is very very good, but is THAT being innovative, when we have seen screen resolutions going from 320x200 back in the days of CGA and we have seen improved screen resolutions and improved pixel densities since that time. Again, while they have a good product, the basic idea of a higher quality display by itself is not innovative.

If you think about it, almost everything in the iPhone could be seen conceptually as copying from the old Palm Pilot, with improvements. Palm made a lot of mistakes, but Apple really took a lot of concepts already out there and just put them into a slick package. Siri is one of the few things that stands out as being unusual, but even voice recognition to command a computer(which smart phones can be considered at this point) has been around for a long time.

If you want real innovation, look at what Palm was doing with the Pre. Yes, the build quality wasn't great, but gesture area instead of buttons for home and back and such, card view, plus the very nice integration between applications(and yes, it had in 2009 the ability where users could tap on a phone number in a message and have it pull up the phone app to call it). If the Pre 3 were actually sold instead of discontinued, it really would have gotten the attention of a LOT of people. Damn Leo Apotheker!

By EasyC on 5/16/2012 1:39:28 PM , Rating: 5
Tony, I missed you.

And let it be known that I am truly honored to have replied to your post here before it gets downrated into oblivion. :)

By nolisi on 5/16/2012 2:05:16 PM , Rating: 1
Apple's iOS business is beating the Android business irrespective of the outcome of the various legal cases.

Keep hiding your head in ground (or whatever other hole you're obviously sticking it in).

Common sense: Apple wouldn't waste money suing companies that aren't a threat to its business. If Apple is truly better than the competition- the free market will choose it over Android.

Common sense: by suing Android companies, Apple is acknowledging the threat. You don't sue companies that don't impact your sales.

Using your logic: being forced to settle with Samsung shows that Apple must have copied Samsung IP, otherwise they wouldn't be settling.

Care to discuss this reasonably?

By elleehswon on 5/16/2012 4:50:25 PM , Rating: 2
Apple's innovations, like the notification bar?

By sprockkets on 5/16/2012 6:02:42 PM , Rating: 3
The patent on it was filed years ago but has not been granted yet.

Doesn't matter to you anyhow - you'll spin it somehow in apple's favor.

By Cerin218 on 5/16/2012 3:18:04 PM , Rating: 2
"(bigger, much bigger, than PCs) is mobile devices"

Yep Because every business in the world is going to magically switch to "mobile devices" for it's users replacing all desktop PC's.

By nolisi on 5/16/2012 6:16:19 PM , Rating: 2
Apple's legal strategy has nothing to do with whether their iOS device business is a success

Are you serious? The legal strategy ensures iOS is a success, which makes them money. It has everything to do with iOS's success. Are you seriously suggesting that businesses don't do things (including legal actions) that ensure their business model and products are a success?

Legal wars are expensive and companies are about making money. Apples board wouldn't allow this to happen if it weren't about guaranteeing iOS business. Please, prove otherwise.

because if companies just copy Apple then innovation slows.

There has never been any proof of this. Architecture and fashion are just two industries both prove that it innovation is possible without IP protection for designs.

As long as people have goals, they will always find ways to innovate. Nothing about IP laws encourages innovation. People innovated before these existed, and they will continue to. Fire wasn't invented because someone patented the blanket. Fire was invented because people wanted to be warm, eat grilled meat, and put to death those who believe in other Gods and have dumb ideas like "Apple innovates."

Samsung have clearly shown they have the organisation and will and management skills to compete and survive in the mobile space, Good for them. And even better if they can do it by not copying Apple.

Too bad Apple couldn't do it without copying Samsung. Why else would Apple settle?

By nolisi on 5/17/2012 12:59:01 PM , Rating: 1
I think you may be responding to a point I did not make.

Do you just ignore facts that aren't convenient to your argument? You made this (invalid) point in the previous post:

Apple's legal strategy has nothing to do with whether their iOS device business is a success

Now you say:

Of course Apple's legal strategy relates to their business strategy

You don't see the contradiction in first stating one has "nothing" to do with the other, and then softening that same position by using the word "relates"?

Other points that I substantiated that you ignored: the fact that patents do not help innovation, Apples settling showing that they copied Samsung.

I know it may be comforting to explain Apple's business victories as somehow the illegitimate result of dubious legal manoeuvres

I never said that their success is solely due to legal wars. I think they make good products. I use a few of them. YOU are now responding to a point I never made.

My point: they are not an innovator.

but if Apple dropped every one of it's legal actions tomorrow the legal IP wars around mobile would continue.

You do realize that it's about why they're suing, not the fact that they're suing.

By random2 on 5/16/2012 11:57:49 PM , Rating: 1
So much hate and fanatacism. The spirit runs deep in these stevophiles Luke.
This is just like watching FOX!Sheeesh....

GG Apple
By Kyuu on 5/16/2012 11:58:31 AM , Rating: 5
So you've successfully gotten a dumbass judge to do a preliminary injunction based on a bullshit patent, and are somehow leaning on customs to make their "review" take an absurdly long amount of time to determine that the feature in question was removed so the shipments can be released.

Great job Apple. If I wasn't already certain in my decision to jump ship to another platform later this year, these anti-competitive legal antics would be cementing my defection.

RE: GG Apple
By Adul on 5/16/2012 12:03:46 PM , Rating: 2
f$ck apple. I got mine on preorder as well. I want my damn evo 4g lte. Software patents need to die seriously

RE: GG Apple
By cochy on 5/16/2012 4:25:41 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously can't blame Apple at all. Want to blame something? These absolutely ridiculous and out dated patent law. It wastes everyone's time and money.

Revise Patent law. That's the moral of these stories.

RE: GG Apple
By ritualm on 5/16/2012 5:08:07 PM , Rating: 2
Trash the existing patent system and create a brand new one in its place. Oh, and we need the justice system to pass technology literacy exams.

RE: GG Apple
By jimbojimbo on 5/16/2012 6:06:28 PM , Rating: 2
I have a feeling the judge is sitting at home now looking at porn on his new free iPad.
All the customs agents are probably also doing the same but with maybe iPad 2.

Dear HTC
By BigAl121 on 5/16/2012 12:05:16 PM , Rating: 2
Excuse my ignorance, but what is in dispute here? Your hardware or the Android OS?? If its the Android os then why not sell the device OS free and let consumer decide what os to install on the device? For too long the carriers have been dictating what to give the consumer. Be the innovator and sell your hardware OS free and let consumer install what ever os they can purchase....just a thought

RE: Dear HTC
By Kyuu on 5/16/2012 11:59:38 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah, that's not gonna happen.

RE: Dear HTC
By geddarkstorm on 5/16/2012 3:32:54 PM , Rating: 2
It wasn't actually Android itself, it looks like, but HTC's "sense" modifications. But if they removed that function from its new releases, then the issue should have been moot.

RE: Dear HTC
By sprockkets on 5/16/2012 6:07:02 PM , Rating: 2
Stock android does the same and is being sued by apple via proxy by samsung's galaxy nexus

RE: Dear HTC
By geddarkstorm on 5/16/2012 11:50:57 PM , Rating: 2
I stand corrected then. Something's going to have to give.

RE: Dear HTC
By ritualm on 5/16/2012 5:15:12 PM , Rating: 2
You're not going to sell phones that don't work OOB, period. In fact, we're still waiting for the day when we can assemble entire Ultrabooks (case, internals, batteries and all) with all off-the-shelf parts.

Not gonna happen bro.

First Adobe Flash now Android
By phatboye on 5/16/2012 12:30:44 PM , Rating: 2
First they single handedly killed of Adobe Flash now Apple is on a killing spree and has its attention on Android. If this isn't a prime example of anti-competitive I don't know what is. This is 10x worse that Microsoft's actions in the late 90's/early 2000 when they were being sued for including a web browser with their OS. Apple is downright suing Android phone maker and getting successful bans on the sales of devices using trivial patents to strong arm out its competition. If ever their was a time for the US or EU Federal government to step in to thwart anti-competitive practices it is now.

The sad part is that I already don't care for Apple products so I can't boycott Apple for this.

RE: First Adobe Flash now Android
By denobin on 5/16/2012 1:30:29 PM , Rating: 3
How exactly did they kill flash? By not wanting to use it? Flash killed itself by being bloated and insecure.

RE: First Adobe Flash now Android
By ritualm on 5/16/2012 6:20:05 PM , Rating: 2
If this isn't a prime example of anti-competitive I don't know what is.

Indeed you don't.

AT&T as a monopoly behaved far worse than Apple - it once thought accessorizing a landline phone was illegal. As recently as last year AT&T - split up in the 80s but recombined into one piece over time - went back to its monopoly roots by trying to buy out T-Mobile!

Did you know Intel at one point tried to kill AMD off and own the entire CPU industry by itself?

Haters gonna hate.

By Reclaimer77 on 5/16/2012 6:45:51 PM , Rating: 1
LOL yes a company looking to sell itself to AT&T in a perfectly legal transaction is TOTALLY the same as Apple filing a zillion lawsuits and filing injunctions to block competition...

RE: First Adobe Flash now Android
By swagramp on 5/17/2012 7:41:55 AM , Rating: 2
Just because other companies have done "worse" things in the past doesn't justify Apple's actions now. Last I checked two wrongs didn't make a right back then, and as far as I can tell, they still don't make a right.

RE: First Adobe Flash now Android
By ritualm on 5/17/2012 10:22:27 PM , Rating: 2
As if what you believe in has any influence on the matter at hand. The most Apple will get as far as punishments go is a slap in the wrist.

You're correct in that what Apple's doing right now is wrong, unfortunately it is meaningless. Government and business are bedfellows, both conspiring to screw you, and - short of a revolution - there is nothing you can do about it.

Oh, and by the way... there is no such thing as a "wrong" in business, and two "wrongs" do make a "right" out there.

By gmyx on 5/16/2012 12:44:38 PM , Rating: 4
My old Palm pilot has this functionality (if you have the Treo). Ridiculous. The Patent is from 1999.

RE: Unbelivable
By testerguy on 5/16/12, Rating: -1
RE: Unbelivable
By testerguy on 5/16/12, Rating: -1
RE: Unbelivable
By SkullOne on 5/16/2012 1:47:52 PM , Rating: 4
So why didn't Apple claim the patent then? Oh iPhone to protect. Stupid patent that wasn't enforced until it benefited Apple. Just one more way the patent system is FUBAR.

RE: Unbelivable
By drycrust3 on 5/16/2012 2:02:27 PM , Rating: 2
The Patent is from 1999.

I guess this is where the legal limbo kicks in. Apple's patent was filed in 1996, the PalmPilot was launched in 1997, and the patent was granted in 1999. To me, that would say HP could argue that they didn't know the patent existed, so they couldn't avoid infringing upon it.
However, HTC don't have the luxury.
What this does say to me is HTC need to up their game in China, India, Africa, Europe, etc while the situation in America is sorted out.

Apple is all about monopoly
By masamasa on 5/16/2012 12:17:01 PM , Rating: 5
This company is bad news for consumers no matter how you look at it.

RE: Apple is all about monopoly
By Pirks on 5/16/12, Rating: 0
RE: Apple is all about monopoly
By ritualm on 5/16/2012 5:54:49 PM , Rating: 1
He's getting upvoted by Apple haters.

Anyhow, Apple is winning the game of Troll Monopoly and the only thing everyone else can do is plaster their faces with FUUUUU...

I will never consider another Apple product again
By Chaser on 5/16/2012 3:37:37 PM , Rating: 2
I owned an iPhone 3G a few years back and I now feel almost ashamed.

Despite all the ridiculously baseless and falsely gleeful predictions on here from the uninspiring trolls Apple's desperate antics will be at best a joke to Google.

Apple had a decent phone in the "3" days. Savor those glory days Apple. Americans have a much better choice now.

By jimbojimbo on 5/16/2012 6:10:09 PM , Rating: 3
No kidding. It's their attitudes that make me completely boycott them forever. I used to have an iPhone as well several years ago but I definitely will avoid giving them any money in any way possible from now on.

I tend to root for the underdog too and poor HTC is really under right now right when things looked promising for them with their One X.

ITC = Inefficient Totalitarian Command
By WalksTheWalk on 5/16/2012 12:13:29 PM , Rating: 2
How long does it really take the ITC to inspect a sample of these units? They've been in customs a month already and they have no ETA, really?

Here's an example of this agency at work; this is just the leadership. From Wikipedia:

The USITC is headed by six Commissioners. Each Commissioner is nominated by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate. The formal commission is signed by the President and the Secretary of State. Commissioners are appointed by the President for 9-year terms, unless they are appointed to fill an unexpired term. Terms are scheduled to end 18 months apart. No more than three of the Commissioners may be of the same political party, and commissioners may not be reappointed after 5 years of service. The Chairman and Vice Chairman are designated by the President for two year terms, and successive Chairmen may not be of the same political party. Only a Commissioner with more than one year of service may be designated Chairman.

By ritualm on 5/16/2012 4:58:37 PM , Rating: 2
Government, bureaucracy and red tape. But show them armored vans full of cash and they do work right away.

By coferj on 5/16/2012 1:32:28 PM , Rating: 2
This suit is laughable, and even funnier that the ITC is backing it by blocking one of only two true current Apple competitors. Every phone that I have had since my first blackberry/HTC mogul have had this feature...and what's more, I doubt anyone would pick an Iphone over another just FOR that feature.

Just another reason to hate Apple. Can't make a superior product, use the Government to stop your competition.

RE: Guffah
By WalksTheWalk on 5/16/2012 4:17:54 PM , Rating: 2
Your exactly right. This functionality has been around on phones for ages. The thing is, Apple makes a great product in the iPhone and they are not only competing but making enormous profits!

This is all part of Steve Jobs' legacy regarding his thermonuclear war on the Android platform. He must have still been pissed about losing the Microsoft lawsuit about copying MacOS back in the day.

It seems like Tim Cook has a clearer head than Steve Jobs since he's come out publicly against using lawsuits in this manner.

Just because of this, I'm buying a HTC One X
By chick0n on 5/17/2012 7:22:49 AM , Rating: 2
I already bought a Galaxy Nexus 1/2 year ago and I love it to death.

and now, I'm going to sell my Galaxy Nexus, Buy a HTC One X and BRING it into the States.

Sorry Apple, you can go suck some donkey balls.

By Nyu on 5/17/2012 2:59:22 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft acquired Skype anyway, so nothing will happen.

By zephyrprime on 5/16/2012 12:43:43 PM , Rating: 3
Basically it doesn't matter if your patent is BS and it wouldn't stand in court. The market moves so fast that in the amount of time it would take to do a court challenge, you can destroy your competition. A court case to challenge a patent is costly and would take more than a year. A year is more than enough time to go bankrupt. This is all due to the stupidity of patents that are not reviewed for prior art before being granted.

Absolutely absurd
By apexwm on 5/16/2012 1:18:57 PM , Rating: 1
This is eliminating competition between Apple and Android based phones, giving Apple a monopolistic advantage. Absurd is only a start at describing this. Apple is beginning to look at lot like Microsoft these days, with all of this patent bullying going on. I personally avoid Apple and Microsoft products, I'm never going to support a company with these motives.

RE: Absolutely absurd
By WalksTheWalk on 5/16/2012 4:34:51 PM , Rating: 2
Steve Jobs started this mess with Android and he knew there would be just enough competition around to skate around anti-trust. If Android were to go away, Windows Phone's and BlackBerry's market share would probably increase enough for Apple to own a large percentage of the market and still avoid most problems with anti-trust.

They are all huge companies involved here and none of them are perfect by any means. To me it's a matter of which ones are less evil than the other and still provide the things I want to use from a feature/function perspective. Kind of like buying insurance.

I have a dream!
By EstebanYobs on 5/16/2012 3:36:43 PM , Rating: 3
That one day, companies can compete on their own technological merit! That they will make innovative products of their own and not resort to broken copyright law in an attempt to silence their competition! That they'll let the CONSUMER DECIDE what they want, instead of trying to TELL them what they want! That developers will make apps without FEAR of having their use denied to the masses!

Oh, wait. That day is now, if I just use Android. Never mind, carry on.

3 easy steps
By Motoman on 5/16/2012 6:55:38 PM , Rating: 1
1. Destroy Apple
2. Disband the ITC
3. Reboot the patent office with people who aren't raging dipsh1ts

RE: 3 easy steps
By GotThumbs on 5/21/2012 11:22:53 AM , Rating: 2
Amen to that!!!!!

Bag of dicks
By chmilz on 5/16/2012 11:41:47 AM , Rating: 2
I present to thee, Apple. Sucketh away.

Patent system questionnable
By ians55 on 5/16/2012 1:48:05 PM , Rating: 2
What I was wondering, if patent eligibility can be questioned? Patent system is not perfect *wink* *wink*, so issued patents can and should be questioned for eligibility. Also, how long it should take for patent to became a public domain?

By Nyu on 5/16/2012 4:35:04 PM , Rating: 2
Skype has a plugin for browsers that does basically the same, it's been around for years.

By overlandpark4me on 5/17/2012 12:23:42 AM , Rating: 2
When I'm on a web page, the number is clickable too. Apple is going to wish they didn't start this because when they are banned in a bunch of countries or they are successfully sued on a feature that prevents their phones from working, I'll be laughing my ass off. Jobs is still laughing at his users....because they're stupid.

Sick and tired of Apple
By wannabemedontu on 5/17/2012 10:25:46 AM , Rating: 2
Someone please pay them back in about you Microsoft?

By wind79 on 5/18/2012 9:44:33 AM , Rating: 2
Misuse of Patents are against the anti-competition law?

By GotThumbs on 5/21/2012 11:20:54 AM , Rating: 2
Jobs was NOT a technology inovator...he was a great Salesman and He was the inovator in abusing patent law courts to try and restrict/control choices available to public.

Just wish he would have taken Apple to the grave with him. I know this is a harsh statment, but I'm just sick and tired of all the patent B.S. that's been going on. Apple should NOT be proud of the fact that they are the origniators of patent law abuse.

Best Wishes

By Malhavoc on 5/16/2012 8:23:00 PM , Rating: 1
All 3 of the above organizations should be put in a barrel and shot.

It is ridiculous that USPO grants patents to companies when prior art can be demonstrated. Fuck Apple for patenting prior art and fuck the ITC for being complete and utter fucking morons.

Patents, Legal System, Experience,
By ptmmac on 5/16/12, Rating: -1
By WalksTheWalk on 5/16/2012 4:28:50 PM , Rating: 2
The thing about most of these software patents is that they are overly broad and prior art is being completely ignored. The people working in the courts are just as technologically challenged and they are not aware of computing history.

The concept of launching a telephony application by clicking on a phone number has been around in computing since way before 1999. It goes back to modems and Windows 3.11 at least. Apple slaps the language "...for mobile devices." on the end of these patent descriptions and files a shit ton of them. Then they get granted and upheld in court even.

It's just ridiculous.

RE: Patents, Legal System, Experience,
By Noonecares on 5/16/2012 6:02:22 PM , Rating: 2
Just an fyi. Samsung is going nowhere. Apple needs Samsung. Samsung makes the parts that are necessary for the iphone. Apple knows they don't have the facilities to make those parts to keep up with the demand of its devices. Back on subject. If you really think Apple is protecting itself, you must live on a different planet. There isn't a company in tech that is making that much money without shady business practices. They don't fabricate anything. I think the reason people hate apple is because they are an american based company that doesn't make a damn thing in the u.s. At least with Samsung and etc. you know where its made. Just wait until China bans Apple from making things in its country just because it can. China doesn't need Apple's money btw. I would say I want to see Apple do down but I don't. I just want them to be humble about it. Apple probably can't die due to its reserves of money that is used in lobbying like all good mega corps do. Eventually something is going to break. But not likely in this lifetime.

To claim that we just didn't know we were copying you is silly on the face of it. You do the crime then you do the time.

That happens every day and no one goes to jail. Pay a fee and keep on trucking. Eventually one of those companies will come up with a patented idea that will kill apple. Then apple will claim unfair business practices.. Like Microsoft is doing with Motorola. Even though MS gets a huge chunk out of every android phone sold.

No clue
By denobin on 5/16/12, Rating: -1
RE: No clue
By masamasa on 5/16/2012 12:23:05 PM , Rating: 5
Their trademarks and patents are often stolen from the works of others. This is a case of patents issued that should not have been and Apple taking advantage of a broken patent system.

RE: No clue
By denobin on 5/16/12, Rating: -1
RE: No clue
RE: No clue
By testerguy on 5/16/12, Rating: -1
RE: No clue
By Reclaimer77 on 5/16/2012 12:50:16 PM , Rating: 1
You're right, he probably hates Apple even MORE now :) I know I do.

And yes, seriously. Did you have a point troll?

RE: No clue
By denobin on 5/16/12, Rating: -1
RE: No clue
By Salisme on 5/16/2012 12:56:23 PM , Rating: 2
Please be advised that your posts contains a link to reference data which violates U.S. Patent No. 5,946,647, which is owned by Apple Inc. Please remove it.

RE: No clue
By denobin on 5/16/12, Rating: -1
RE: No clue
By chrnochime on 5/16/2012 12:41:27 PM , Rating: 2
We all know how laughably antiquated/crappy the current patent system is so don't go there. Apple is still trying to squash their competition with their patents that weren't supposed to be granted in the first place, so the player is at fault. Hate the game not the player? Great job using that phrase, because that surely does not apply here.

RE: No clue
By denobin on 5/16/12, Rating: -1
RE: No clue
By chrnochime on 5/16/2012 5:16:48 PM , Rating: 2
I have no fanatic devotion to google/android, in fact I like using iPad slightly more than android tablet, so there goes your belief of me being a fandroid. Any company would've done this? Well guess what, right now it is Apple not some other company, so your assertion of other companies equally willing to do so is moot. Unless one of those other companies actually does this, your argument does not stand.

There's a thing called integrity ; Whether I'm a stockholder of apple or not does not preclude me from believing this lame lawsuit is simply their attempt to remove all competition that sells better than them. Apparently for you supporting a company no matter what goes hand in hand with owning their stock.

How absurd are you anyway??

If you think you're so right you wouldn't have been down-ranked so many times. Not going to bother wasting more time on you. I'll let you go on your merry way.

RE: No clue
By elleehswon on 5/17/2012 8:34:21 AM , Rating: 2
on that note, as a matter of principle, i sold my emc, ibm, oracle, exxon, and apple stock as soon as any shady dealings were reported. Showing a lack of integrity? have fun running a business without my money. It's just a shame people like tony care not for business ethics.

RE: No clue
By Darksurf on 5/16/2012 1:32:32 PM , Rating: 1
You're not very wise. While Apple is a player in the game, this player in particular is stealing other peoples pieces and bullying other players. All the tools Apple is using to bully the other players don't even belong Apple. Yes, it is the game makers fault (USPTO), but does that mean the player is not at fault? Hell no. It just means that player should be disqualified for being an A55.

RE: No clue
By denobin on 5/16/12, Rating: -1
RE: No clue
By Targon on 5/16/2012 9:03:59 PM , Rating: 3
How many things in the iPhone were a copy from the old Palm devices? Smartphones are really just PDAs with a phone bolted on to them, and who was the big pioneer in that field? How much in the iPhone was not available in some form on the old Palm PDAs?

RE: No clue
By Varun on 5/16/2012 1:32:59 PM , Rating: 3
You are confusing trademarks with patents. You have to defend trademarks, or you lose them. Patents are not lost by non-enforement. By not enforcing them, you can just wait until it will be a crippling blow to your competition.

RE: No clue
By denobin on 5/16/12, Rating: -1
RE: No clue
By Varun on 5/16/2012 2:49:10 PM , Rating: 3
That's not true at all. Point out some evidence where that is the case. Companies routinely don't file infringement suits right away. In fact if they were forced to, the patent system would REALLY be broken, because what happens if they just don't discover it until later? They just get told, sorry, too bad?

RE: No clue
By denobin on 5/16/12, Rating: -1
RE: No clue
By BugblatterIII on 5/16/2012 2:54:49 PM , Rating: 1
It's ok; I have enough hate for both :o)

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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