ITC reviewing Apple patent victory over HTC

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
The U.S. International Trade Commission announced this week its intention to review a judge's ruling that Taiwanese handset maker HTC had infringed on two of Apple's patents, with a final decision scheduled to arrive by Dec. 6.



The decision comes after both Apple and HTC petitioned for a review of the July 15 ruling from an administrative law judge. HTC asked the commission to review the two patents that it had been found to have violated, while Apple requested that two other patents be reexamined.



The ITC agreed to review 16 issues across the four patents in question, requesting additional information on five questions from both companies. Though the review could put HTC at greater risk, since the final result could side even more with Apple, patent expert Florian Mueller believes the likelihood of that happening is less than 20 percent.



Mueller went on to state his position that HTC stands a 50 percent chance of overturning the infringement ruling on U.S. Patent No. 6,343,263, entitled "Real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data." He also reiterated that a successful defense from Apple would be a "huge win" because workarounds for the '263 patent would require significant architectural changes to Google's Android.



For its part, Apple has said in its court filings that Google executive Andy Rubin worked under the inventors of the '263 patent during his time as a low-level engineer at Apple and may have drawn inspiration for the Android framework then.



Mueller also went on to say that Apple has a 75 percent chance of winning the final decision on the second patent HTC has been found to have infringed. But, according to him, U.S. Patent No. 5,946,647, entitled "System and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data," is mostly a "convenience" feature and could be removed from Android, though it would slightly degrade the user experience.



The commission expects to reach a final decision by Dec. 6, at which point the federal agency could issue an import ban on infringing HTC devices. Bloomberg reports that court filings show HTC is fighting any possible ban by arguing that its smartphones have special features for the hearing impaired and "enhanced 911" location services that contribute to public safety.



?The exclusion of HTC accused devices from the U.S. market would not only eliminate the most popular brand of smartphones using Android, the fastest-growing mobile operating system, but would also impact the public health, safety, and welfare concerns of individual U.S. consumers,? the company said, noting that its devices comprise 36 percent of Android smartphones in the U.S.



But, Apple has responded with its own filing asserting that there are plenty of other smartphones on the market and HTC can replace its Android handsets with smartphones running Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system.



Analysts have suggested that Apple's victory in its ITC suit against HTC could set a high royalty precedent for Android devices. Some Chinese Android vendors are said to be considering dropping the platform because of fears of infringement liability.



Meanwhile, HTC Chief Executive Peter Chou has sought to assuage investors' fears by calling the lawsuit a "distraction," expressing confidence that the company would be unaffected by the suit.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 102
    though I'm sure some here will disagree...the second patent (that Apple stands an apparent 75% chance on) is utterly ridiculous.



    I don't really know what the first patent means so I won't pretend to.
  • Reply 2 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post


    I don't really know what the first patent means so I won't pretend to.



    only a handful of people fully understand all the patents that make an OS. Its ridiculous to believe that any judge has the understanding needed to judge in such a dispute.



    Patents should expire at the speed at which an industry moves. That way 99% of all these tech legal disputes involving apple would disappear!
  • Reply 3 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post




    For its part, Apple has said in its court filings that Google executive Andy Rubin worked under the inventors of the '263 patent during his time as a low-level engineer at Apple and may have drawn inspiration for the Android framework then.



    I hope they are able to make the "Andy Rubin inspiration" connection with that patent. There's nothing sweeter than nailing an ex-employee for stealing such an important aspect of a device and willfully using that "inspired" idea to compete against his old employer. I'm all for competition but I hope Android gets kicked down a few notches by being forced to go back to the drawing board to rework the architecture for knowingly infringing on the patent and going ahead with it anyway. Just like Oracle and Java. Cocky and ballsy.
  • Reply 4 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bonklers View Post


    only a handful of people fully understand all the patents that make an OS. Its ridiculous to believe that any judge has the understanding needed to judge in such a dispute.



    Patents should expire at the speed at which an industry moves. That way 99% of all these tech legal disputes involving apple would disappear!



    and patent trolls would be non-existent.
  • Reply 5 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post


    I hope they are able to make the "Andy Rubin inspiration" connection with that patent. There's nothing sweeter than nailing an ex-employee for stealing such an important aspect of a device and willfully using that "inspired" idea to compete against his old employer. I'm all for competition but I hope Android gets kicked down a few notches by being forced to go back to the drawing board to rework the architecture for knowingly infringing on the patent and going ahead with it anyway. Just like Oracle and Java. Cocky and ballsy.



    question...do you actually even know what the patent in question is or are you being guided by blind hatred of anything not Apple?



    ---------





    hmmm, from what I can gather about U.S. Patent No. 6,343,263 pretty much EVERY modern smartphone uses it and it was likely in use in smartphones before Apple created the iPhone. 17 years ago (1994, when the patent was filed) the mobile tech industry was insanely young and any judge likely ignorant of the implications of this.
  • Reply 6 of 102
    Wouldn't it be more accurate to describe this as a review of a "patent ruling" rather than a "patent victory"?
  • Reply 7 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post


    question...do you actually even know what the patent in question is or are you being guided by blind hatred of anything not Apple?



    I know nothing about the patent, what exactly it covers as far as functionality or when it came about, I'm just commenting about what the article implies and that the move by Andy Rubin, if true, shows lack of principle and ethics. One doesn't have to be an Apple fanatic to comment about lack of ethics.



    edit:

    http://www.ipwatchdog.com/patents/us...t_6343263.html



    It may have been filed in 1994 but it seems to have been granted in 2002, probably when the iPhone was in the early stages of concept and development.
  • Reply 8 of 102
    If patent 6,343,263 was filed in 1994 doesn't it expire in 3 years from now? If the Android industry can just appeal and stall for 3 years they are home free.
  • Reply 9 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post


    I know nothing about the patent, what exactly it covers as far as functionality or when it came about, I'm just commenting about what the article implies and that the move by Andy Rubin, if true, shows lack of principle and ethics. One doesn't have to be an Apple fanatic to comment about lack of ethics.



    edit:

    http://www.ipwatchdog.com/patents/us...t_6343263.html



    It may have been filed in 1994 but it seems to have been granted in 2002, probably when the iPhone was in the early stages of concept and development.



    you are basing your opinion of a man on your desire for him to be unethical...besides if he worked to produce it, left before in 92 it was filed, of course the idea is in his head....it doesn't indicate any malice on his part.



    Almost as bad as the people who say Schmidt was a double agent on the Apple board.
  • Reply 10 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post


    If patent 6,343,263 was filed in 1994 doesn't it expire in 3 years from now? If the Android industry can just appeal and stall for 3 years they are home free.



    I'm not sure if it's 20, or 25 years...but the patent was filed in 94 and granted in 2002.
  • Reply 11 of 102
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,483member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post


    I'm not sure if it's 20, or 25 years...but the patent was filed in 94 and granted in 2002.



    I believe it is 20 years from the date granted so that would make the expiration date ... a problem for Android.
  • Reply 12 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ?The exclusion of HTC accused devices from the U.S. market would not only eliminate the most popular brand of smartphones using Android, the fastest-growing mobile operating system, but would also impact the public health, safety, and welfare concerns of individual U.S. consumers,? the company said, noting that its devices comprise 36 percent of Android smartphones in the U.S.



    How does upholding an Apple patent endanger the public health, safety, and welfare of individual US consumers? Wouldn't upholding a US company's patent actually do more good for the American population rather than allowing foreign interests to infringe on a US corporation's intellectual properties?
  • Reply 13 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post


    you are basing your opinion of a man on your desire for him to be unethical...besides if he worked to produce it, left before in 92 it was filed, of course the idea is in his head....it doesn't indicate any malice on his part.



    Almost as bad as the people who say Schmidt was a double agent on the Apple board.



    I have to agree with this. Unless there are emails or something concrete where Rubin stated, "Hey, I remember this function I worked on at Apple that would be perfect for this." I wouldn't attribute it to malice or unethical behavior. Still doesn't hold sway either way from a legal standpoint though.
  • Reply 14 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by F1Ferrari View Post


    How does upholding an Apple patent endanger the public health, safety, and welfare of individual US consumers? Wouldn't upholding a US company's patent actually do more good for the American population rather than allowing foreign interests to infringe on a US corporation's intellectual properties?



    Well, the previous paragraph said:



    Quote:

    ... Bloomberg reports that court filings show HTC is fighting any possible ban by arguing that its smartphones have special features for the hearing impaired and "enhanced 911" location services that contribute to public safety.



    The phrase, "grasping at straws," comes to mind.
  • Reply 15 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post


    ... Almost as bad as the people who say Schmidt was a double agent on the Apple board.



    I guess English is not your primary language? For Schmidt to have been a "double agent", he would have had to be passing Google secrets to Apple as well as taking Apple plans back to Google. No one that I'm aware of has ever alleged that.
  • Reply 16 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post


    I hope they are able to make the "Andy Rubin inspiration" connection with that patent. There's nothing sweeter than nailing an ex-employee for stealing such an important aspect of a device and willfully using that "inspired" idea to compete against his old employer. I'm all for competition but I hope Android gets kicked down a few notches by being forced to go back to the drawing board to rework the architecture for knowingly infringing on the patent and going ahead with it anyway. Just like Oracle and Java. Cocky and ballsy.



    Andy Rubin stopped working for Apple in the early 90s. Back then, even Linux (the foundation of Android) was just being birthed. If Rubin was inspired by what he saw then to design the Android framework, then he was and is frigging brilliant (which he may already be). So, accusing him of stealing (at least back then) would be, to quote someone else here, grasping at straws.
  • Reply 17 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post


    I believe it is 20 years from the date granted so that would make the expiration date ... a problem for Android.



    The priority date is date of filing, not date granted.
  • Reply 18 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by F1Ferrari View Post


    How does upholding an Apple patent endanger the public health, safety, and welfare of individual US consumers? Wouldn't upholding a US company's patent actually do more good for the American population rather than allowing foreign interests to infringe on a US corporation's intellectual properties?



    Millions of Americans have Samsung, HTC and Motorola phones. If Apple wins all patent cases and all companies mentioned as well as Google are forced to shut down operations, these Americans would lose their phones. Before they can afford to get a replacement, grievous bodily harms could come to them and they would not be able to text or phone a friend for help.



    Apple must be stopped.
  • Reply 19 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    I guess English is not your primary language? For Schmidt to have been a "double agent", he would have had to be passing Google secrets to Apple as well as taking Apple plans back to Google. No one that I'm aware of has ever alleged that.



    According to Wikipedia,



    "A double agent, commonly abbreviated referral of double secret agent, is a counterintelligence term used to designate an employee of a secret service or organization, whose primary aim is to spy on the target organization, but who in fact is a member of that same target organization oneself."



    Schmidt, according to idiots, primarily aimed to spy on Apple (aka target organization). But he was indeed a *board* member of the target organization. Ergo, double agent! POW! Is English not your primary language?



    But seriously, methinks that Wikipedia entry needs editing.
  • Reply 20 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


    Millions of Americans have Samsung, HTC and Motorola phones. If Apple wins all patent cases and all companies mentioned as well as Google are forced to shut down operations, these Americans would lose their phones. Before they can afford to get a replacement, grievous bodily harms could come to them and they would not be able to text or phone a friend for help.



    Apple must be stopped.



    Um why? Android OEMs rarely update their phones (HTC is an exception although the updates are few and far between) so whatever phones that have been purchased prior to the decision aren't going to stop functioning so they wouldn't be losing their phones.
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