After taking some serious courtroom beatings in the last couple of days, there’s a breath of air for the Android camp coming all the way from the legal patent showdown between HTC and Apple in the UK. HTC has won its case against Apple’s attempt to ban sales of the devices in the country, after Judge Christopher Floyd ruled that the Taiwanese company didn’t infringe four of the contested patents belonging to Cupertino.
The four patents that Apple believes HTC is using illegally are the slide-to-unlock feature, tools to scroll through pictures and to change alphabets, and software that supports multi-touch gesture. Out of the four, Judge Floyd said that only the picture-viewing patent is valid, but he didn’t find HTC infringing on that particular Apple’s patent. The other three have been dismissed as invalid patents.
Apple didn’t make any specific comments about the less than favorable ruling, but Cupertino’s spokesperson released the following statement: “Competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.”
Meanwhile, HTC spokeswoman Andrea Sommer said that the company was very pleased with judge’s ruling. Though victory is at hand, she expressed the company‘s disappointment over Apple’s stance to “favor competition in the courtroom over competition in the marketplace.”
The battle may have ended in the UK, but HTC still has its hands full with Apple’s patent lawsuits in other parts of the world. Apple is using the same four patents to try and bring HTC down in Germany, with hearing for the particular legal battle to commence later in the year. And of course, the battle is being fought in the U.S. as well, with Apple targeting to stop sales of all HTC devices in the land of the free.
Before we forget, let’s have three cheers for Judge Christopher Floyd! Any thoughts about HTC – and Android — finally getting some much needed break from Apple’s litigious tendency?