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U.S. Customs has seized HTC's smartphone shipments and have refused to give it a timeline for when its changes will be reviewed.  (Source: Change.org)
Customs ban remains in effect, government hasn't revealed when it will bother to review HTC's changes

Apple, Inc.'s (AAPLU.S. Patent No. 5,946,647 covers data-tapping -- creating actionable links in a text document, and displaying a menu of options, such as to call or save a phone number.

While questions of prior art surround the patent, Apple has thus far been successful in convincing the courts of the patent's validity.  However, despite Apple suing all the major Android manufacturers and despite the feature being in all stock Android browsers/messaging apps, it's only been able to use the patent to pick off the smallest and weakest of Android "big three" -- Android's HTC Corp. (TPE:2948).

Even as Apple's decision to "beat up on the little guy" has drawn ire, HTC has moved to try its best to restore its products.  The Verge confirms that its testing of the Evo 4G LTE -- a new handset on preorder at Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) -- and the One X -- a handset coming to AT&T, Inc. (T) -- reveals that both devices no longer carry the infringing browser and messaging app bulids.

HTC has developed modified versions of these apps.  It cleverly creates a settings menu that allows users to directly associate a data type with a specific app.  This allows documents to be marked up in such a way that it skirts Apple's patent description, given that rather than a menu coming up, a click directly launches the app.

The workaround is dubbed "App Associations".

App associations
HTC has removed the infringing feature from its smartphones via a new feature dubbed "App Associations". [Image Source: The Verge]

The big question is whether HTC's hard work will do any good.  After all, even before The Verge's verification, HTC insisted that all of the handsets that had been held up at Customs featured the modification.

According to HTC, U.S. Customs officials have refused to inspect its product or consider lifting the ban after a month of inaction.  With the AT&T and Sprint left in a quandary about how to fulfill preorders, HTC is desperate to get the ban lifted.

But the U.S. International Trade Commission and Customs have offered no clue that Customs officials might be ready to review HTC's seized shipments.  Thus HTC finds itself in the position of a prisoner left forgotten in a holding cell.

Customs does not have clear-cut publicly available rules regarding how and when it bans products, so HTC is at the mercy of these bureaucrats.  And right now they seem perfectly content to enforce a ban that benefits Apple, despite compelling and clear-cut evidence that HTC no longer is offering the contended feature.

That questionable policy is certainly not sitting well with Android fans and customers who preordered.  But it's a pleasing development to Apple's well-heeled, polished legion of lawyers and the company's most zealous fans.

Source: The Verge



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Apple's fans don't care about Android or HTC
By tjoynt on 5/17/2012 5:57:40 PM , Rating: -1
quote:
But it's a pleasing development to Apple's well-heeled, polished legion of lawyers and the company's most zealous fans.


Apple's most zealous fans couldn't care less about Android or HTC; it's an entirely one-sided animosity. I know it's hard for haters to hear that the subject of your hatred doesn't even give a thought to you, but it's not like the good old MS vs. Apple flame wars. There's no "us-vs-them" mentality. Apple is doing so well that it just isn't necessary.

In fact, every Apple-fan that I've talked to thinks that these patent wars are bad and are harming the industry as a whole.

Apple's shareholders, on the other side, may be pleased.

I personally think these patents are absurd, but then I think all software and design patents are absurd.




RE: Apple's fans don't care about Android or HTC
By Omega215D on 5/17/2012 8:31:30 PM , Rating: 2
Then you must've had your head up your ass. There's always been that smug attitude from the Apple loyalists. They've been seen on 'Cult of Mac' the Mac vs PC ads, most recently with Instagram being made available on Android to which Apple users called the Android users poor or trash and much worse. There's countless more but you're probably another Tony Swash.

Goddamn hipsters.


By sprockkets on 5/17/2012 11:44:16 PM , Rating: 2
This pretty sums them up. You just don't notice him as much since so many other normal people have iphones now.

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2002/07/12/

The blurb behind it

http://penny-arcade.com/2002/07/12


RE: Apple's fans don't care about Android or HTC
By testerguy on 5/18/2012 3:07:31 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
There's always been that smug attitude from the Apple loyalists


No, that's your own insecurity complex surfacing again.

As the original poster said, most iPhone users are neutral, unbiased, logical guys who do not like to see patent wars. Your perception that they are smug is like when the really dumb kids at school keep saying to everyone 'you think you're better than me?' ...

Grow a pair and stop being so insecure. The rest of the world doesn't care enough about you to even bother acting smug.


By thejerk on 5/18/2012 7:49:35 AM , Rating: 2
I'm with this guy.

Every time I read people arguing about which platform is better, I assume two 15 year-olds are Internet posturing.


By tng on 5/18/2012 8:31:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
As the original poster said, most iPhone users are neutral, unbiased, logical guys who do not like to see patent wars.
This statement shows what has been happening to the world, it doesn't care.

It is not about how Apple users "Care" about the patent wars that Apple has started, it is about what they do about it. While you say that we should all just grow a pair, remember that if you ever tire of buying Apple products someday, you might find that you have no choice if Apple has their way.

If the all of Iphone users decided to buy an Android or Window phone in protest, all of this anti-competitive BS from Apple would stop in a hurry. Most people who I know who have Android phones have bought them not because they like them better than an Iphone, but because Apple has started the patent wars.


By dark matter on 5/18/2012 11:59:32 AM , Rating: 2
Most iPhone users can't help showing their iPhone off to other iPhone users who go OOoh, is that the new iPhone.


By lightfoot on 5/18/2012 12:24:33 PM , Rating: 5
That is the single most smug comment I've read in a VERY long time! Way to go!

quote:
No, that's your own insecurity complex surfacing again.

Translation: You're insecure and I'm not, because I use Apple products.
quote:
As the original poster said, most iPhone users are neutral, unbiased, logical guys who do not like to see patent wars.

Translation: Apple users are logical and you're not.
quote:
Your perception that they are smug is like when the really dumb kids at school keep saying to everyone 'you think you're better than me?' ...

Translation: You are the dumb kids.
quote:
Grow a pair and stop being so insecure.

Translation: Buy Apple products.
quote:
The rest of the world doesn't care enough about you to even bother acting smug.

Translation: You are irrelevent to me.

Isn't that the very definition of smug?

Smug: (adj.) contentedly confident of one's ability, superiority, or correctness.


By ritualm on 5/19/2012 1:27:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
No, that's your own insecurity complex surfacing again.

As the original poster said, most iPhone users are neutral, unbiased, logical guys who do not like to see patent wars. Your perception that they are smug is like when the really dumb kids at school keep saying to everyone 'you think you're better than me?' ...

Grow a pair and stop being so insecure. The rest of the world doesn't care enough about you to even bother acting smug.

Amazing. You just proved you are obnoxiously insecure and smug.


"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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