Last quarter, HTC sent over 5.7 million smart phones to the US making them the leading smart phone manufacturer in America (Canalys). Therefore, if HTC were to stop selling Android phones, this could either hurt Android in the smartphone OS market, or leave the door wide open for Samsung, Motorola, and other Android device manufacturers.
In July of 2011, an ITC administrative law judge decided that HTC’s phones infringe on two of Apple’s patents. HTC has obviously chosen to disagree with the claim, and the date for this case has been set to December 14, 2011.
HTC has been accused of infringing upon the following patents:
- U.S. Patent No. 5,946,647 on a “system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data” (in its complaint, Apple provides examples such as the recognition of “phone numbers, post-office addresses and dates” and the ability to perform “related actions with that data”; one example is that “the system may receive data that includes a phone number, highlight it for a user, and then, in response to a user’s interaction with the highlighted text, offer the user the choice of making a phone call to the number”)
- U.S. Patent No. 6,343,263 on a “real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data” (while this sounds like a pure hardware patent, there are various references in it to logical connections, drivers, programs; in its complaint, Apple said that this patent “relates generally to providing programming abstraction layers for real-time processing applications”)
Has patent infringement gone too far? On Friday December 16th alone, the following cases will take place: