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An ITC judge has indicated that Apple is unlikely to get HTC’s 4G LTE patents invalidated. HTC is threatening to apply for an import ban on the new iPhone and iPad, assuming they support LTE, in an attempt to get Apple to settle its other patent infringement suits against HTC.

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Apple is the most valuable company in the world, and yet it is using patent litigation to bully its competitors. Are the huge profits justified? Can Apple stay on top as goodwill for the company dissolves?

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While this might initially seem a win for Motorola and Google, the problem here is timing. An initial determination by the judge will still be subject to a review by the ITC. The entire process could take at least one year. With that, whatever damages ensuing from the alleged patent infringement would have already been moot, especially since iPhones and iPads will continue to be sold in the U.S.