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Much of Apple's Mac computer lineup has been found in infringement of HTC's newly acquired intellectual property. This could lead to a ban on imports -- effectively a ban on sales -- in the U.S.  (Source: Cult of Mac)

Meanwhile, Apple has filed yet another ITC complaint against HTC, this time alleging that the new HTC Flyer tablet infringes on its intellectual property.  (Source: HTC)
Apple will have to pay up -- or negotiate a settlement

Apple, Inc. (AAPL) has put Taiwan's HTC Corp. (SEO:066570) in a very bad spot.  The larger, more profitable gadget maker has hit HTC with a series of lawsuits worldwide, and recent scored a favorable preliminary ruling, which could lead to a complete ban on HTC handsets in the U.S.

But HTC appears to have some leverage, now.  In an unsealed ruling dating back to July 1, it has been declared that Apple infringed on intellectual property of recent HTC acquisition S3 Graphics.

The IP in question covers image compression techniques in software and hardware.  The U.S. International Trade Commission Judge James Gildea ruled that while Apple's popular iPad, iPhone, and iPod lines of mobile gadgets are not in violation of the IP, some of Apple's Mac OS X computers are.  

As NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) is a licensee, units with its GPUs are not in violation.  However, models with graphics by Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) or integrated graphics from Intel Corp.'s (INTC) (such as the newly refreshed MacBook Air lineup) are in violation.

The ruling thus clears the way for a partial ban on the import of Macs.  As virtually all Macs are manufactured outside the U.S. (mostly in Asia), this would be a major blow to Apple's booming computer lineup, which posted in $17.5B USD computer sales last year.

The judge also ruled that two of S3's patents in the case were invalid, and that some of the minor claims within the two valid patents were invalid.

While the ruling was "unsealed" (made official), it has not yet been made available to the public as the companies are reportedly quibbling about what constitutes redaction-worthy confidential information in the document. Bloomberg reported on the release, based on early information.

The ruling now goes before a full six judge ITC panel for confirmation.

While a ruling which found Apple's iPad and iPhone -- which accounted for 46 percent of its revenues last year -- would have been even better, the victory gives HTC substantial leverage to broker a cross-licensing agreement, which could save HTC from a similar import ban on its smart phones.

Meanwhile, Apple filed two weeks ago, on July 15, a new ITC complaint against the HTC Flyer tablet, which it says infringes on several of its patents.  Of course, if the companies can come to terms, HTC's tablet lineup would, in theory, be covered under a cross-licensing agreement, as well.

If the S3 IP can save HTC from Apple's litigious wrath, that $300M USD acquisition, which was blasted by investors, could just turn out to be a great deal.



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RE: Gotta love it...
By xype on 7/27/2011 10:38:15 AM , Rating: -1
What’s with all the genius people suddenly thinking patent "wars" are new and exclusive to Apple?

- Patent ligitation has been happening in the computer industry nearly as long as it exists

- Apple (and all the other companies) are playing for keeps, meaning the WILL sue—just as they WILL get sued. It’s completely retarded to keep sniping at Apple like that all the time (way to go DT!), keep sniping at the system if you must

- The S3 patent was looming over AMD (ATi) and others for a long time and it’s not an exclusively HTC vs Apple situation

– There _are_ good reasons for having patents and a well working patent system. Always acting as if patents are inherently evil is retarded.

But, hey, it’s not like this is ArsTechnica or anything. People are stupid here…


RE: Gotta love it...
By DanNeely on 7/27/2011 10:48:19 AM , Rating: 4
I think a lot of the reason why Apple gets blasted more than most of the major legit tech companies in patent wars is that most are just trying to get money out of their dubious patents, not crush the competition. Apple generally only signs licensing deals when forced to because their target turns out to have something equally destructive.


RE: Gotta love it...
By xype on 7/27/11, Rating: -1
RE: Gotta love it...
By ClownPuncher on 7/27/2011 11:25:21 AM , Rating: 5
Let me guess, you listen to Moby and drive a VW painted to match the color of your iPhone?


RE: Gotta love it...
By xype on 7/27/11, Rating: -1
RE: Gotta love it...
By ClownPuncher on 7/27/2011 11:37:32 AM , Rating: 5
Yes. Would you like to come over to play Madden and have some Hostess snacks? Mum says I can't go outside due to my "condition".


RE: Gotta love it...
By StevoLincolnite on 7/27/2011 3:22:19 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Mum says I can't go outside due to my "condition".


I tried going outside once, the graphics weren't to bad, but the game-play totally sucked.


RE: Gotta love it...
By AssBall on 7/27/2011 4:32:53 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah the NPC's had crappy quests too. Mow the lawn? I mean come on is that the best they can come up with?


RE: Gotta love it...
By Totally on 7/27/2011 6:12:54 PM , Rating: 5
and the 1-life, no auto-save BS, I think I'll pass


RE: Gotta love it...
By AssBall on 7/27/2011 11:42:32 AM , Rating: 5
You used "Apple" and "good reason" in the same sentence.

/Fail


RE: Gotta love it...
By Avatar28 on 7/27/2011 12:10:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So this is about disabling the competition? How come Windows Phone 7 can get by, then? Because Microsoft has enough self-respect to at least try not to copy Apple outright?


Partially that although I think it's more that MS has several times the number of patents that Apple does and they have been in the smartphone/pda/tablet business a lot longer than Apple has. Windows Phone has not prove to be enough of a threat to Apple (yet) for them to risk getting into a patent pissing contest with MS. They would have a lot more to lose if/when MS countersued. MS and Apple also had a patent cross-licensing agreement dating back to 1997 that may or may not be a factor as well.


RE: Gotta love it...
By jhb116 on 7/27/2011 5:14:53 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed. It really gets tiring watching Apple taking concepts and/or products that ALREADY exist, highly refines them into a really good product then claiming they invented said product so they can sue the crap out of competitors when Apple can't refine said product any further and then the competition blows them away with either better products or (more likely) a much more open platform more easily accessible to the masses.

I the iPod was (and still is) a really good music player but there where many before it. The iPhone is still a really good phone but again wasn't the first and I seriously doubt was even the first with the style the claim to patent for that style. Ditto for the iPad.

I think the basic reason Apple draws some much fire is the idiotic patents they file - imagine Henry Ford Patenting a 4 wheeled motorized vehicle. If such a thing would have happened - he would have had a strangle hold on the market such things existing before. It would have been fair for him to patent the specific technologies associated with the mass production that he brought to the industry to force the other companies to figures out different specific production processes but not the concept of a 4 wheeled vehicle or mass production. Apple, similarly, needs slapped in the face for these stupid patents - ie shut up and continue to innovate and compete.

They don't get that they are losing (well kind of) against Google et al because of their business model. They still kick butt in profitability. It is the over-pricing, stupid patents and inherently closed system that prevents me from buying Apples products despite the fact that they are often better than their competitors.


RE: Gotta love it...
By vision33r on 7/28/11, Rating: 0
RE: Gotta love it...
By Miqunator on 7/31/2011 1:49:42 PM , Rating: 2
Amen

You pretty much stated my thoughts there but even though we can argue their morals (or lack of) they are only using a flawed system to its full extent, i.e. you can't blame them for having these silly patents. The blame should be with the system that approves said patents.

I'm not arguing against Apple being asses here though and I take great pleasure in trolling a few 'friends' that are open Apple zealots. I just try to not fall over into anti-Apple zealotry.


RE: Gotta love it...
By room200 on 7/27/2011 11:04:29 AM , Rating: 5
But, hey, it’s not like this is ArsTechnica or anything. People are stupid here…

Then hike your punk-ass on over to ArsTechnica.


RE: Gotta love it...
By xype on 7/27/11, Rating: -1
RE: Gotta love it...
By Ramstark on 7/27/2011 11:08:31 AM , Rating: 4
You mad Apple Fanboy? Apple sues WAY MORE than other companies, that's why there are always news about it, noone is "sniping" at your sweetheart...


RE: Gotta love it...
By Tony Swash on 7/27/11, Rating: -1
RE: Gotta love it...
By ClownPuncher on 7/27/2011 12:08:58 PM , Rating: 2
Apple only makes mobile products now? And you cited an article written by someone named "Harry McCracken"?


RE: Gotta love it...
By sigmatau on 7/27/2011 1:10:34 PM , Rating: 3
Your own chart shows that Apple is the most sue happy company. Did I miss something or you just don't know how to read charts?


RE: Gotta love it...
By karlostomy on 7/28/2011 2:50:59 AM , Rating: 5
Yeah, that's exactly right.

Tony Swash contradicted himself while smarmily trying to correct another user.

This is a perfect example of why Apple fanboys have garnered a reputation for being smugly ignorant, worldwide.

Thanks Tony, for showing us that you fit the stereotype.
Good luck with the damage control...


RE: Gotta love it...
By protosv on 7/27/2011 2:08:01 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I think Tony undermined his own point here. The chart shows that Apple is suing 5 other companies, which makes it the leader on that chart for the number of other companies that one company is suing.


RE: Gotta love it...
By chick0n on 7/29/11, Rating: 0
RE: Gotta love it...
By Tony Swash on 7/27/11, Rating: -1
RE: Gotta love it...
By Tony Swash on 7/27/11, Rating: -1
RE: Gotta love it...
By themaster08 on 7/27/2011 1:53:47 PM , Rating: 1
Likely because the success story of Apple you self assuringly love to regurgitate bears no relation to the topic at hand.


RE: Gotta love it...
By Iaiken on 7/27/2011 2:45:53 PM , Rating: 2
Tony just likes to verbally masturbate in public... pay him no mind.


RE: Gotta love it...
By nolisi on 7/27/2011 2:50:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
most know in their hearts but would never admit it that Android OS is a clone of iOS


This statement could not be more blatently false and ignorant based on both business model and functionality:

1) Functionally, Google integrated into Android has multiple methods of interface including features like voice recognition and swype which work anywhere in the OS, while Apple's interface only recently recieved a port of Swype, and voice recognition is still a bit limited.

2) The Google market is a more open model, and they allow most apps which compete with Google made applications. The model may have closed a bit, but that was as a response to certain security issues, not to copy Apple.

3) OTA updates to the OS- Apple still hasn't released this...

4) Greater carrier control over the device

The list of differentiating factors as well as the list of where Google beat Apple in terms of functionality is fairly substantial. To call Android a clone of iOS is simply ignorant when Apple is just starting to implement OS level features that Android has had for a least a year, as well as having a completely different business model.


RE: Gotta love it...
By Tony Swash on 7/27/11, Rating: -1
RE: Gotta love it...
By themaster08 on 7/28/2011 2:28:14 AM , Rating: 2
So by your pogic, any company that created an OS post-iOS is just a clone, regardless of differences in user interface, features and usability? The question is, what drugs do YOU take?

For a senior member of society, you sure come out with some childish crap.


RE: Gotta love it...
By Tony Swash on 7/28/2011 11:29:11 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
So by your pogic, any company that created an OS post-iOS is just a clone, regardless of differences in user interface, features and usability? The question is, what drugs do YOU take?

For a senior member of society, you sure come out with some childish crap.


This is what Android looked like in 2007.

http://www.engadget.com/2007/11/12/a-visual-tour-o...

Here’s an actual hardware prototype from then.

http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/android-hardware-in-the...

It didn’t look anything like an iPhone, nor like anything Apple would ever be interested in making. It looked like a BlackBerry or Windows Mobile phone — hardware keyboards and non-touch screens. That's because at the time Google was planning to clone the Blackberry.

But then iPhone was launched.

Now compare a 2010 Android design to a current iPhone.

http://www.engadget.com/2010/04/19/droid-incredibl...

Don’t tell me the iPhone has not completely reshaped the design and UI of smart phones including Android.


RE: Gotta love it...
By Pirks on 7/28/2011 1:08:02 PM , Rating: 2
The greatest artists steal ideas, didn't you hear that from Jobs? Don't be so thick Tony :)))


RE: Gotta love it...
By nolisi on 7/27/2011 3:11:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Then came the iPad (initially laughed at and dismissed) and it kept selling in greater and greater numbers and now the last bastion, the holy land of Windows, enterprise computing, seemed to be falling to Apple.


This is hilarious. In my own enterprise we have iPads- but the iPad is NOT an enterprise-ready product. Apple has no method for deploying enterprise specific applications to the device or properly managing them.

You don't just throw an iPad (or any other computer/OS) into the work place and say "it works in the enterprise". The enterprise space requires more than just a cool interface. Right now enterprises have to cobble together management, security, and deployment strategies for the iPad; in order to get the iPad to work in the business environment and comply fully with security/management needs, you need to use products from other vendors, such as Citrix Presentation layer or VDI. Apple has no plan for this. Android/Chrome isn't even ready for this.

Microsoft has these strategies in place, and they are configurable to accommodate the business needs of the environment.

The only reason the iPad is in the work place is because of trendy executives. I know this because I support dozens of these iPads, and I know what they're actually doing on a day to day basis. At best, the iPad can be awesome in small businesses, particularly point of sale, but even those people I know use Android combined with a credit card reader that works in an HTC audio jack to process POS credit card orders. I'm not 100% certain if they released the same for Apple.

But so far, no tablet maker is enterprise ready, and people are definitely not doing real work on an iPad, and if they are trying to respond to emails, they're doing it at a slower pace.


RE: Gotta love it...
By Tony Swash on 7/27/11, Rating: -1
RE: Gotta love it...
By Pirks on 7/27/2011 7:32:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
corporate IT hates iPads and iPhones
No, they don't hate, they just don't see all those rainbows and unicorns, know what I mean?


RE: Gotta love it...
By themaster08 on 7/28/2011 2:41:47 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
The invasion of the iOS devices into enterprise will often be by rebellion from below against corporate IT. Generally corporate IT is detested and usually with good reason.
And how in the hell is that a good thing?

quote:
So corporate IT hates iPads and iPhones. Good - sack the lot them. Your days are coming to a close.
Absolutely. PCs, completely wiped out by iPhones and iPads. You seriously should consider seeing a doctor. Do you realise how ridiculous that sounds?

The reason corporate I.T so so arcane is because companies refuse to invest in their I.T infrastucture, running 8-year-old PCs that are on their last legs, struggling to cope with the demands being set upon them, producing counter-productivity, whilst the senior management think it's a good idea to spend £500 on an iPad for themselves to read their emails and surf Facebook. All logic is thrown out the window.

The only reason iPads allow these people to be more productive is because their current PCs are so shit that they would be better used as biscuit tins.


RE: Gotta love it...
By Helbore on 7/28/2011 5:29:15 AM , Rating: 2
You haven't got a clue about the use of technology in business, have you? You sound like a typical ignorant end-user, who thinks they're entitled to think of their desktop as "theirs" rather than "a tool provided by the company."

Buy your own gadgets to play with at home if you want to feel empowered. You can use your corporate IT equipment in the manner you have been authorised to by the company, just as you would with any other piece of company-owned hardware, regardless of whether it is a PC or a fork-lift truck.


RE: Gotta love it...
By MrPerez on 7/28/2011 6:18:51 AM , Rating: 1
You must be macdevdude , troll much?


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