ITC grants injunction over Apple Data Detectors patent against HTC Android phones

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple has won an import ban from the US International Trade Commission blocking HTC Android phones that infringe upon its Data Detectors patent, a move that will require Android to drop the feature or implement it in a way that does not infringe.



The ITC granted Apple an import ban that will prevent HTC from selling its phones in the US with the feature beginning April 19, 2012. HTC will either need to remove the functionality or work with Google to implement it in a non-infringing way.



Removing the feature "would put HTC at a competitive disadvantage as compared to other smartphone makers, including other Android device makers," reports FOSS Patents writer Florian Mueller.



"Out of ten patents originally asserted, Apple finally managed to enforce one, and it's one of medium value," Mueller added, noting that "a much broader and potentially more impactful patent on realtime signal processing was not deemed infringed. That one could have had much more impact on HTC and, more generally, Android than the data tapping patent."



Mueller observed, "it's a starting point, and let's not forget that this is just the first of dozens of lawsuits Apple has already brought against the Android platform. There's a learning curve involved with anything, and patents need to be battle-tested. Chances are that Apple's lawsuits will become more effective."



Apple's years of work of Data Detectors



Apple's Advanced Technology Group invented Data Detectors in the mid 1990s, allowing an operating system to recognize formatted data (such as a phone number or email address) within an unstructured document, enabling the user to take action upon the data recognized.







The feature was added to Mac OS 8 in 1997 as a contextual menu plugin (above), but didn't make it to Mac OS X until Leopard 10.5 in 2008. Along the way, Data Detectors evolved into an automated technology initially called LiveDoc, where recognized data was automatically highlighted.







On Mac OS X, the feature enables users to perform actions such as clicking on information (such as in an email signature) to automatically create a new contact entry or selecting a highlighted date in order to set up a new calendar event. Since Snow Leopard in 2009, the feature has been activated for any documents managed by Core Text.



That same year, iOS 3.0 also incorporated the technology, allowing users to see email addresses and phone numbers as hyperlinks that can be touched to place a call, send a text, or compose an email.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 60
    so shameless... i didn't know the idea for data detectors was copied
  • Reply 2 of 60
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,293member
    FossPatents: ". . . relating only to HTC Android phones implementing one of two claims of a "data tapping patent": a patent on an invention that marks up phone numbers and other types of formatted data in an unstructured document, such as an email, in order to enable users to bring up other programs (such as a dialer app) that process such data. The import ban won't relate to HTC Android products that don't implement that feature, or that implement it in ways not covered by those patent claims.



    If Google can implement this popular feature, which users of modern-day smartphones really expect, without infringing on the two patent claims found infringed, this import ban won't have any effect whatsoever."




    So far there's not been any meaningful judgements passed down for either side. I don't know if courts and agencies are trying to avoid getting embroiled in these battles for marketshare, or if it's common for requested emergency injunctions to take months to implement once a judgement is handed down. Many here are waiting for D-Day to arrive with each court case only to see time being granted to fix any issues.



    Perhaps it's perfectly normal. I don't know.
  • Reply 3 of 60
    It's a shame that at the rate they release crap, HTC will have new devices made by April that circumvent this?
  • Reply 4 of 60
    ...on successfully patenting HYPERLINK technology. Yes, once again, you fooled the patent system into granting you a bogus patent unworthy of any judgement for it. Once again you take an idea that people already have implemented and consider so broad that no one else but you would have the distaste to try to patent it.



    Apple is more evil than Microsoft ever was. Both companies admit stealing others' ideas, but only Apple has the audacity to try to patent them as if they were their idea. I hope everyone's eyes start opening up and start the boycott of a company that has gone from humble to a-hole in the course of a decade. Apple is leaning hard on the plastic cover over the self-destruct button....
  • Reply 5 of 60
    "Baaannnn in the USA, I was Baaaan in the USA"
  • Reply 6 of 60
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    It's a shame that at the rate they release crap, HTC will have new devices made by April that circumvent this?



    HTC already does. Was changed in Android 2.3. This pertains to Android 1.6-2.2
  • Reply 7 of 60
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ratero View Post


    HTC already does. Was changed in Android 2.3. This pertains to Android 1.6-2.2



    Thats how the Asian companies roll. Copy or violate an IP to get started and make some traction in the market. Then figure out a workaround for next revisions to avoid or limit the penalty if caught or proven guilty.
  • Reply 8 of 60
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ratero View Post


    HTC already does. Was changed in Android 2.3. This pertains to Android 1.6-2.2



    Correct. It will only help HTC to accelerate to get rid of remaining devices shipping with 2.2 version of Android.



    But it is really sad to see that anybody is able to get such a lousy patent. Apple should be ridiculed for just filling for such stupidity, not granted it and not getting any injunction. The patent law needs an update.
  • Reply 9 of 60
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,293member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ratero View Post


    HTC already does. Was changed in Android 2.3. This pertains to Android 1.6-2.2



    Link? I hadn't seen that yet.



    EDIT: Never mind. It appears you're absolutely correct, with a post at the Verge explaining this only applies to fairly old HTC handsets. Out of the 10 patents originally asserted by Apple, only part of a single one was successful apparently.



    http://www.theverge.com/2011/12/19/2...tc-devices-itc
  • Reply 10 of 60
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    Keep up the lawsuits! I want to see a lot more suing!



    We'll see who comes out still standing on two legs when all is said and done. Apple will win a lot more than they lose, thereby winning the war, and that's what ultimately matters.



    Android should be sued out of existence. Forums without any Fandroids on them can only be a good thing.
  • Reply 11 of 60
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MicroNix View Post


    ...on successfully patenting HYPERLINK technology. Yes, once again, you fooled the patent system into granting you a bogus patent unworthy of any judgement for it. Once again you take an idea that people already have implemented and consider so broad that no one else but you would have the distaste to try to patent it.



    Apple is more evil than Microsoft ever was. Both companies admit stealing others' ideas, but only Apple has the audacity to try to patent them as if they were their idea. I hope everyone's eyes start opening up and start the boycott of a company that has gone from humble to a-hole in the course of a decade. Apple is leaning hard on the plastic cover over the self-destruct button....



    What a stupid thing to say. The publications you read.. do yourself a favour and stop reading them.
  • Reply 12 of 60
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


    What a stupid thing to say. The publications you read.. do yourself a favour and stop reading them.



    The publications you read... do yourself a favour and start reading alternatives.
  • Reply 13 of 60
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MicroNix View Post


    ...on successfully patenting HYPERLINK technology. Yes, once again, you fooled the patent system into granting you a bogus patent unworthy of any judgement for it. Once again you take an idea that people already have implemented and consider so broad that no one else but you would have the distaste to try to patent it.



    Apple is more evil than Microsoft ever was. Both companies admit stealing others' ideas, but only Apple has the audacity to try to patent them as if they were their idea. I hope everyone's eyes start opening up and start the boycott of a company that has gone from humble to a-hole in the course of a decade. Apple is leaning hard on the plastic cover over the self-destruct button....



    I thought it was NeXT patent
  • Reply 14 of 60
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MicroNix View Post


    ...on successfully patenting HYPERLINK technology. Yes, once again, you fooled the patent system into granting you a bogus patent unworthy of any judgement for it. Once again you take an idea that people already have implemented and consider so broad that no one else but you would have the distaste to try to patent it.



    Apple is more evil than Microsoft ever was. Both companies admit stealing others' ideas, but only Apple has the audacity to try to patent them as if they were their idea. I hope everyone's eyes start opening up and start the boycott of a company that has gone from humble to a-hole in the course of a decade. Apple is leaning hard on the plastic cover over the self-destruct button....



    You are profoundly ignorant if you think Data Detectors is nothing more than a hyperlink.
  • Reply 15 of 60
    majjomajjo Posts: 574member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Link? I hadn't seen that yet.



    EDIT: Never mind. It appears you're absolutely correct, with a post at the Verge explaining this only applies to fairly old HTC handsets. Out of the 10 patents originally asserted by Apple, only part of a single one was successful apparently.



    http://www.theverge.com/2011/12/19/2...tc-devices-itc



    I'm not seeing anything there that states its limited to 1.6-2.2. Assuming it is, is it because Apple didn't include the newer Android versions in its filing or because the infringement was removed with 2.3?



    edit: nm, I see that its implied that the ruling doesn't apply to 2.3. But no explicit statement that its limited to 1.6-2.2.



    I guess android users should thank Apple for pushing updates on their phones
  • Reply 16 of 60
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Link? I hadn't seen that yet.



    EDIT: Never mind. It appears you're absolutely correct, with a post at the Verge explaining this only applies to fairly old HTC handsets. Out of the 10 patents originally asserted by Apple, only part of a single one was successful apparently.



    http://www.theverge.com/2011/12/19/2...tc-devices-itc



    This is not remotely true. HTC says it is working on how to remove the functionally. It wouldn't need to do that if it were already removed from Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which is now a YEAR OLD.



    How you three trolls managed to get that conclusion from the verge article that says nothing of the sort only indicates that your accounts are likely the same person, and/or a small group of misinformational circle jerks.
  • Reply 17 of 60
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,549member
    They invented this in the mid 90s before it became so "common place". It's not a hyperlink but a way to decipher unformatted data.
  • Reply 18 of 60
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by slapppy View Post








    Thats how the Asian companies roll.














  • Reply 19 of 60
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,293member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Corrections View Post


    This is not remotely true. HTC says it is working on how to remove the functionally. It wouldn't need to do that if it were already removed from Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which is now a YEAR OLD.



    How you three trolls managed to get that conclusion from the verge article that says nothing of the sort only indicates that your accounts are likely the same person, and/or a small group of misinformational circle jerks.



    Daniel, the Verge quote is here. Take it up with Nitay Patel if you don't believe it's true. I'm just repeating a statement from a generally credible source.



    "It's important to note that the ITC issued an exclusion order and not a cease and desist; HTC's current products already on US shelves will be unaffected. However, exclusion orders are generally broadly worded and aren't limited to any specific products — so we would expect Apple to use this ruling to go after newer HTC devices running Android 2.3, 3.0 and even 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). . . We've asked for clarification on whether Apple will pursue further action against Android 2.3 and up; we'll let you know if we hear anything."





    I suspect you didn't read the article before making accusations that the claim was made up by posters here.



    Gizmodo is posting the same claim: The ruling currently affects only HTC devices using android 2.2 and prior.

    http://gizmodo.com/5869507/htc-andro...-us-next-year/
  • Reply 20 of 60
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,756member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by slapppy View Post


    Copy or violate an IP to get started and make some traction in the market. Then figure out a workaround for next revisions to avoid or limit the penalty if caught or proven guilty.



    It is a shame that this is implemented by Google that Google is not sued.
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