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Apple suggests HTC dodged ITC injunction with 'misstatements' to US customs

post #1 of 17
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Apple has suggested to the International Trade Commission that HTC made "misstatements" to U.S. Customs in order to dodge an injunction against its handsets.

In a letter to the ITC last week, Apple called HTC's own arguments against the injunction "misstatements" and expressed concern that the Taiwanese phone maker had misled Customs into allowing infringing devices into the country.

"If HTC is now telling the Commission that its Android Products contain functionality that 'links only a single action to a detected structure,' Apple can fairly assume that HTC told Customs the same thing, despite the incontrovertible showing in Apple?s Enforcement Complaint that HTC's representation is wrong," Apple's letter read, as noted by Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents.

The ITC granted Apple the injunction against HTC last December after finding HTC guilty of infringing upon a "Data Detectors" patent that details a method for automatically detecting and creating links for information such as phone numbers, email addresses and URLs. The company was given until this April to remove the offending feature from its imported devices.

In May, HTC revealed that some of its phones had been held up by Customs for inspection. Customs began releasing some of the phones just a few days later.

HTC One X
HTC's One X smartphone



Apple's most-recent letters argue for a temporary ban of HTC devices on the basis that the company continues to infringe even after implementing a supposed workaround.

"HTC's factually erroneous excuse for continued importation of products covered by the LEO [limited exclusion order] bolsters the necessity for emergency relief," the letter read.

HTC's position is weakened by the fact that it chose not to get an "advisory opinion" from the ITC about the products it was importing. Though HTC is not required to seek the opinion, doing so was a "risky path" because it could be construed as flagrant infringement. Mueller called HTC's decision to proceed with importing products that have questionable data detector functionality "brash."

A new letter from HTC was filed last Friday. The company argues that it doesn't have access to code for Google's own GMail app, which contains disputed linking features. However, Mueller characterized the assertion as a "ridiculous argument that constitutes an insult to human intelligence."

Apple has countered by claiming that HTC is responsible for infringement on its devices regardless of whether it has access to the original source code. According to Mueller, the ITC's exclusion order is "meant to stop all infringement" of the data detectors patent, so any infringements in GMail could still trigger the injunction.

Though HTC has filed its own legal complaints against Apple, it has been less successful than its rival. Earlier this month, HTC gave up on an appeal with the ITC over a lawsuit against Apple. A second ITC lawsuit brought by HTC against Apple was challenged last week with a counterclaim by the iPhone maker that accuses HTC of abusing standard-essential patents.

HTC has struggled as rivals Apple and Samsung have carved out increasingly larger portions of the smartphone market. In the first quarter of 2012, the company reported that its pre-tax profits had fallen by nearly 70 percent. Late last week, HTC announced that it was immediately abandoning the Brazilian market after poor sales in the region.
post #2 of 17

Agg, Apple attacking a wrong company. I have a lot of respect for HTC since they actually make their own designs for phones and don't rip-off like Samsung. It's Samsung that Apple really needs to attack.

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post #3 of 17

Uh, is Apple attacking HTC for having GMail on their phones???
 

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by lightknight View Post

Uh, is Apple attacking HTC for having GMail on their phones???
 

 

Well obviously if the proprietary GMail software is infringing the patent then yes.

 

Perhaps Google should help HTC out with a work around seeing as it's part of their closed ecosystem.

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post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

 

Well obviously if the proprietary GMail software is infringing the patent then yes.

 

Perhaps Google should help HTC out with a work around seeing as, it's part of their closed ecosystem.

I agree.

 

IMO it's unfortunate that domestic companies (Samsung HTC and other foreign companies can't use the ITC for this) can do an end-around and get an exclusion order from the ITC before the case is even adjudicated, but that's the way the system is set up. Can't blame the players for taking advantage of it. The order assumes that the patent claims are likely to be valid to begin with. So far this is all preliminary stuff with a lot of assumptions. A finding whether the claims really are legit comes at some later date after the damage to HTC has already been done.


Edited by Gatorguy - 6/26/12 at 4:59am
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post #6 of 17

"These are NOT the smartphones you are looking for"

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I've accomplished my childhood's dream: My job consists mainly of playing with toys all day long.
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post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple has suggested to the International Trade Commission that HTC made "misstatements" to U.S. Customs in order to dodge an injunction against its handsets.

The ITC granted Apple the injunction against HTC last December 

The ITC doesn't issue injunctions. The proper term for the ITC action is an Exclusion Order.

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post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

The ITC doesn't issue injunctions. The proper term for the ITC action is an Exclusion Order.

And the proper term for a misstatement is a lie. Apple isn't in the baking business and shouldn't be sugar coating anything. Just call a spade a spade.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #9 of 17

Samesung should be happy!

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

 
And the proper term for a misstatement is a lie. Apple isn't in the baking business and shouldn't be sugar coating anything. Just call a spade a spade.

When Judge Posner suggested Apple wasn't being honest in one of their filings in the Moto Apple case the bloggerspere called that a misstatement too. I suppose that word rather than lie gives companies/lawyers a potential out that the statements perhaps weren't intentionally misleading, instead simply a different understanding.

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post #11 of 17

Fairly simple solution:  Ship the device without the Gmail app.  As it crosses the border, it will not contain the infringing functionality.

 

As soon as the device reaches the customer, they can log on to the Google Play marketplace, and install whichever 3rd party apps they want -- including Gmail, if that suits their interests.

 

At that stage of the game -- end users installing Google-supplied Apps through a Google-owner storefront -- Google would unambiguously be the entity importing the software containing potentially infringing functionality, so we could finally see these lawsuits going against Google, the actual originator of the alleged infringements and therefore the only truly appropriate target.

post #12 of 17

Since when does Apple's legal army "suggest" that someone made "misstatements"?

 

Don't they usually insist that the other side is lying?

 

Are they following a new strategy given their recent string of failures?

post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerrySwitched26 View Post

Since when does Apple's legal army "suggest" that someone made "misstatements"?

 

Don't they usually insist that the other side is lying?

 

Are they following a new strategy given their recent string of failures?


I wouldn't place much stock in any lawyer that used language like "they're lying" in an official legal filing.  "Misstatement" conveys a similar meaning without all the pejorative baggage.

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

HTC has struggled as rivals Apple and Samsung have carved out increasingly larger portions of the smartphone market. In the first quarter of 2012, the company reported that its pre-tax profits had fallen by nearly 70 percent. Late last week, HTC announced that it was immediately abandoning the Brazilian market after poor sales in the region.

 

See?  There is no "Android community" among handset makers.  They would all love to destroy each other.

Samsung can and will crush the life out of all other Android handset makers, including HTC.

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post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by lfmorrison View Post

Fairly simple solution:  Ship the device without the Gmail app.  As it crosses the border, it will not contain the infringing functionality.

 

As soon as the device reaches the customer, they can log on to the Google Play marketplace, and install whichever 3rd party apps they want -- including Gmail, if that suits their interests.

 

At that stage of the game -- end users installing Google-supplied Apps through a Google-owner storefront -- Google would unambiguously be the entity importing the software containing potentially infringing functionality, so we could finally see these lawsuits going against Google, the actual originator of the alleged infringements and therefore the only truly appropriate target.

If Google did that, they would lose the control they have to lock handset makers into their ecosystem.

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

 

See?  There is no "Android community" among handset makers.  They would all love to destroy each other.

Samsung can and will crush the life out of all other Android handset makers, including HTC.

 

Android will become Touchwiz, locked into KIES.

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

If Google did that, they would lose the control they have to lock handset makers into their ecosystem.


They still own the Play marketplace (the "walled garden"), and they could still compel handset makers to pre-install that marketplace by default.  Within that marketplace, they have the power to place a heavy emphasis on Google-supplied solutions and obscure any competing 3rd party alternatives.

 

In any event, I don't see any tangible "lock" to Google's ecosystem at present, because users of the vast majority of Android devices have always been able to side-load Apps that weren't obtained through the manufacturer's officially sanctioned App market.

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