HTC already testing phones to work around ITC ruling

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
HTC Chief Executive Peter Chou revealed on Wednesday that the company is already testing a workaround in order to comply with the U.S. International Trade Commission's ban on devices infringing on Apple's Data Detector patent.



At a media briefing in Taiwan on Wednesday, Chou dismissed the infringing feature, which automatically recognizes formatted data such as email address and phone numbers and displays them as a link, as one that is "actually quite rarely used," Bloomberg reports.



The ITC issued an import ban against HTC on Monday that would block it from selling its Android handsets in the U.S. The ban is set to take effect on April 19, 2012. According to Chou, HTC has already developed a workaround and has been testing new phones with the software.



Apple began using the Data Detectors invention in the 1990s in Mac OS 8 before eventually implementing it in Mac OS X and iOS. The commission found that the "Linkify" functionality in HTC's Android devices infringed upon Apple's patent for the technology.



For its part, HTC has said it considers Monday's decision "a win" because it let the company off the hook from Apple's more serious patent infringement claims. The ITC's final ruling reversed a previous judgment that HTC had infringed on a real-time signal processing patent by Apple. A work around for that patent would have proved more complicated than simply removing "Linkify."







Analysts quickly responded to the decision, noting that Apple's narrow victory is not likely to have a major effect on either company. RBC Capital Markets' Mike Abramsky said the removal of the feature would "slightly widen" the iPhone's differentiation from HTC devices, but he conceded that it was only a "small prize for Apple and a small dent against Android."



Chou also said during the briefing that the handset maker would continue to work with Google to "protect ourselves." Both Apple and HTC have several outstanding legal complaints against each other. The Taiwanese handset maker recently filed a lawsuit against Apple using patents acquired by Google earlier this year.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    This Chou guy says a lot of stuff doesn't he?
  • Reply 2 of 33
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,389member
    Good luck pushing an update to all the HTC handsets in the field.
  • Reply 3 of 33
    It's a feature that's rarely used? Is this guy kidding?
  • Reply 4 of 33
    When companies are allowed to steal intellectual property, this actually stifles innovation because instead of innovating and inventing new things, companies are just copying. When there are a lot of me-too products on the market, profit margins are driven down so nobody makes money anymore. This results in cost cutting and job losses and high unemployment.



    Stealing IP should be viewed as economic terrorism and a threat to the wealth of a nation.



    I wonder where South Korea would be today if the US pulled their troops from the North Korean Border. I wonder where Taiwan would be if China is allowed to "reunite" Taiwan to the Middle Kingdom. HTC & Samsung, do not bite the hand that fed you...



    That said, Steve Jobs' greatest innovation is Apple itself. If Apple continues at its current pace of innovation, no company will ever be able to catch up to it. By the time they do, Apple is already out with the next paradigm shift in technology. Apple is an innovation machine.
  • Reply 5 of 33
    Many are saying the patent system is broke. I agree that it is broke because the companies whose IP is being stolen has to spend a huge amount of time and resources to ward off the copycats. Then they have to wait two years or more for the judicial system to decide. That's longer than most product life cycles. By the time they win a case, the infringing product is no longer on the market. But the damage has already been done.



    So does HTC have to pay up or do they just push out an update and everything is hunky dory? Is anyone working for Google affiliated with Al-Queda? Google is certainly nuking a lot of corporate America with its free Android to the rest of the world. This Android thing is giving all these East Asian companies an edge with American technology.



    The government should set up a patent body that enforces patent rights. Like a police patrol that prevents thieves from stealing in a neighborhood. If the FCC approves everything before it goes to market, shouldn't somebody check on whether a new product is infringing before approving sale in the open market?
  • Reply 6 of 33
    I remember reading in the news that the changes that HTC had to make to the OS is only affecting older and low budget devices. I don't think that they are aware that their customers might not be so happy with the changes and inconsistencies. They potentially become new iPhone users. But HTC doesn't see that and thinks it has won. Ask Apple, user experience is king.
  • Reply 7 of 33
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post


    Good luck pushing an update to all the HTC handsets in the field.



    They don't need to, the ruling only concerns new imports.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,389member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post


    They don't need to, the ruling only concerns new imports.



    Well, isn't that sweet motivation for all the Android handset makers to shove as much "product" (a.k.a. "crap") out as fast as possible before someone slaps their hands?
  • Reply 9 of 33
    Does vbulletin have a license from Apple to use linkify?



    I hope so or you are all using a product that contains STOLEN IP and should be banned from the market entirely.
  • Reply 10 of 33
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    At least Android has multitasking which will make the chore of cutting and pasting between applications less onorous.



    :-)



    (Whoops used a Samsung patented smiley, I hope they don't sue me!)



    Posted from my iPhone.
  • Reply 11 of 33
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AbsoluteDesignz View Post


    Does vbulletin have a license from Apple to use linkify?



    I hope so or you are all using a product that contains STOLEN IP and should be banned from the market entirely.



    Do Android devices work as a series of HTML webpages?



    Do they work using a tag based system, like HTML?



    Will Samsung sue over this?



    Posted from my iPhone.
  • Reply 12 of 33
    The following web page demonstrates that prior art existed for this "innovation":



    http://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comm...tures_in_1980s



    I am annoyed that Apple keep being awarded patents for solutions that 90% of engineers would come up with in under an hour if presented with the "problem". This particular patent is for little more than a regular expression - but even worse is the fact that Apple have been awarded patents for human gestures!!! (sounds ridiculous - but it's true)
  • Reply 13 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fandroid View Post


    The following web page demonstrates that prior art existed for this "innovation":



    http://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comm...tures_in_1980s



    I am annoyed that Apple keep being awarded patents for solutions that 90% of engineers would come up with in under an hour if presented with the "problem". This particular patent is for little more than a regular expression - but even worse is the fact that Apple have been awarded patents for human gestures!!! (sounds ridiculous - but it's true)



    Either I suggest you actually become an Engineer [whether it be EE, ME, CE, ChemE,] a Computer Scientist, and a Patent Lawyer or stop talking about prior art. The inventor of the Wheel doesn't invalidate a Patent in 2011 on the design and implementation of any Wheel.



    It's getting real tiresome with the average person discussing prior art as if they are a seasoned Patent Attorney and Patent Engineer.



    If you think Sidekick is Prior Art to how a Smartphone implements similar behavior I again ask you to find a new profession and learn to read the scope and depth of the patents in qustion.



    Sidekick was a solution to work around Microsoft's/Intel's interupt system.



    The Apple Lisa already performed the underlining tech this program did as well, and Apple patented it.
  • Reply 14 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    If you think Sidekick is Prior Art to how a Smartphone implements similar behaviour...



    Obviously regular expressions work differently when running on a smartphone.



    Edit: here's how Apple described themselves describe the patent (link):



    "The '647 patent generally relates to a computer-based system and method for detecting structures and performing computer-based actions on the detected structures. In particular, this invention recognizes that computer data may contain structures, for example, phone numbers, post-office addresses, and dates, and performs related actions with that data. The '647 patent accomplishes this by identifying the structure, associating candidate actions to the structures, enabling selections of an action, and automatically performing the selected action on the structure. For instance, the system may receive data that includes a phone number, highlight it for a user, and then, in response to a user's interaction with the highlighted text, offer the user the choice of making a phone call to the number."



    It is as clear as daylight that Borland Sidekick from 1983 comprehensively invalidates that claim.
  • Reply 15 of 33
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post


    Well, isn't that sweet motivation for all the Android handset makers to shove as much "product" (a.k.a. "crap") out as fast as possible before someone slaps their hands?



    No, it isn't. HTC already has a workaround, so it's really business as usual. The impact of this ruling will be quite limited, as AI and others have already stated.



    As to whether the product is "crap" or not, 5 million people seem to disagree with you every week while activating their new Android devices, so I wouldn't put much weight on your opinion.
  • Reply 16 of 33
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,267member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fandroid View Post


    Obviously regular expressions work differently when running on a smartphone.



    Edit: here's how Apple described themselves describe the patent (link):



    "The '647 patent generally relates to a computer-based system and method for detecting structures and performing computer-based actions on the detected structures. In particular, this invention recognizes that computer data may contain structures, for example, phone numbers, post-office addresses, and dates, and performs related actions with that data. The '647 patent accomplishes this by identifying the structure, associating candidate actions to the structures, enabling selections of an action, and automatically performing the selected action on the structure. For instance, the system may receive data that includes a phone number, highlight it for a user, and then, in response to a user's interaction with the highlighted text, offer the user the choice of making a phone call to the number."



    It is as clear as daylight that Borland Sidekick from 1983 comprehensively invalidates that claim.



    Actually I use to be a big fan of sidekick and used it when it came out on the mac. However, Borland never patent what they did in the program and if you know how the program work as described in help file it required that the phone number be formatted in a particular way in order for it to allow for the double click dial feature to work. I remember, and if you used period better the 3 3 4 digits it would not work. The reason I know this is a good friend of mine use to do this with his phone number just to be different. If you read the apple patent they improved on the idea, they did not need it to be formatted in a particular way for it work, plus apple patent allowed for it to recognize addresses and email and dates as wells.



    As it was point out, just because someone came up with an idea it does not protect the derivative ideas as well. In the case of Android, Apple probably showed that Android implemented their solution the exact same way. This is most likely why the court ruled the way it did, and obviously the person from the above website information did not help Google or HTC assuming this information go to them as the person suggested.
  • Reply 17 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post


    ...Apple probably showed that Android implemented their solution the exact same way. This i most likely why the court ruled the way it did...



    If you are correct, then, from the Android perspective, this would be no problem whatsoever - the remedy would be to use a different combination of regular expressions to implement "data detection".



    btw - if this page is an accurate representation of Apple's submission (and there is no reason to think that it isn't) then Apple themselves have used the expression "regular expression" in their court submission. Unless you are correct in saying that it's Apple's particular combination of regular expressions that the court got upset about (which ought to be a copyright issue rather than a patent issue), then effectively Apple have patented the hyperlinking of regular expression matches - which would be a scandal IMO.



    Edit: for reference, find regular expressions for phone numbers here, and for email addresses here.
  • Reply 18 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post


    No, it isn't. HTC already has a workaround, so it's really business as usual. The impact of this ruling will be quite limited, as AI and others have already stated.



    As to whether the product is "crap" or not, 5 million people seem to disagree with you every week while activating their new Android devices, so I wouldn't put much weight on your opinion.



    5 million people haven't tried out the new Android with the feature removed (since it's still in testing), so I wouldn't put much weight on your opinion, either!





    Quote:

    Does vbulletin have a license from Apple to use linkify?



    I hope so or you are all using a product that contains STOLEN IP and should be banned from the market entirely.



    I doubt it uses anything close to linkify. It's not as complex as that. It likely more simple.
  • Reply 19 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ... RBC Capital Markets' Mike Abramsky said the removal of the feature would "slightly widen" the iPhone's differentiation from HTC devices, but he conceded that it was only a "small prize for Apple and a small dent against Android."...



    So despite what all the angry anti-Apple folk were saying when the news debuted, it seems their "workaround" might actually be simply removing the feature.

    Here's a big thanks to all the a-holes that insulted and belittled people like me who argued that it might be difficult to work around this.



    Personally, I think this is all about differentiation. Android phones already are disallowed from:



    - swipe to unlock

    - the "bounce" when you flip the scroll

    - data detectors



    Only need a few more of these sorts of things and people will start to realise that there *is* a big difference between the original and the copy.
  • Reply 20 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fandroid View Post


    The following web page demonstrates that prior art existed for this "innovation":



    http://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comm...tures_in_1980s



    I am annoyed that Apple keep being awarded patents for solutions that 90% of engineers would come up with in under an hour if presented with the "problem". This particular patent is for little more than a regular expression - but even worse is the fact that Apple have been awarded patents for human gestures!!! (sounds ridiculous - but it's true)



    I am annoyed with people like you who spew a bunch of rhetoric without an ounce of arguments to back it up.



    If 90% of engineers could have come up with whatever Apple gets patents for in under an hour, why didn't somebody else come up with it and file for a patent?
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