Print 44 comment(s) - last by tastyratz.. on Jul 13 at 9:23 AM

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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RE: This is getting out of hand
By bug77 on 7/11/2011 5:17:22 PM , Rating: -1
You don't get it. Nobody said patents should be made obsolete. Just that they need a reform: it's asinine to patent stuff like "click one button fast, in succession" and than sue your competition out of the market because of it.

Look at Pirate Bay, Limewire and Napster. All were ordered shut down when it was proven they did more harm than they did good. Patents (at least software patents) are in the same boat now.

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"

"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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