HTC handsets held up at US customs due to ITC injunction over Apple patent

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Taiwanese handset maker HTC revealed on Tuesday that shipments of its HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE devices have been delayed because they are being reviewed by U.S. Customs to check for compliance with an injunction by the International Trade Commission.

"The US availability of the HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE has been delayed due to a standard U.S. Customs review of shipments that is required after an ITC exclusion order. We believe we are in compliance with the ruling and HTC is working closely with Customs to secure approval," the company said in a statement, as reported by The Verge.

"The HTC One X and HTC Evo 4G LTE have been received enthusiastically by customers and we appreciate their patience as we work to get these products into their hands as soon as possible."

AT&T began selling the HTC One X on May 6, but the device is currently listed as "Out of Stock" on the carrier's website. The EVO 4G LTE is scheduled to arrive on the Sprint network sometime during the second quarter of 2012.

HTC One X
HTC's One X smartphone


The ITC issued an import ban against HTC last December after Apple asserted its "data detectors" patent, which outlines a technology for automated detection of data such as phone numbers, email addresses and hyperlinks. After the injunction was announced, patent expert Florian Mueller called the patent "one of medium value," while noting that HTC will be at a "competitive disadvantage" without the data detector feature.

HTC quickly responded late last year that it had already developed a workaround to avoid infringement. That workaround is presumably active in the two devices that are being held up at customs.



Tuesday's report noted that HTC is "basically in limbo while it waits" for Customs to make a decision. "The final enforcement instructions delivered by Customs to its officers are totally classified — they're even excluded from Freedom of Information Act requests," wrote author Nilay Patel.

Though the ITC is unable to issue fines for patent infringement, it is able to grant import bans that can have devastating financial impact on companies. According to the report, Customs and Border Protection is responsible for enforcing the injunction and is reportedly "allowed to handle things pretty much any way it wants."

Apple itself is appealing the December 2011 ITC ruling in an effort to revive patent claims for a "realtime application programming interface" against HTC.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 73
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Check out the comments on this blog, courtesy of NasserAE.

    [LIST][*]http://www.slashgear.com/htc-one-x-evo-4g-lte-delayed-due-to-us-customs-15228504/ [/LIST]
  • Reply 2 of 73
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    How did we miss this blatant infringement?


     


    I'm not talking about the article, I'm talking about the picture on the right:


     


    htc-one-x.png


     


    IDENTICAL to the iPad.

  • Reply 3 of 73
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member


    More appropriate headline:


     


    Some Android OEM's (or whatever's) chickens are coming home to roost


     


     


     


    Big friggin loss. There's about a 100 more Android models to choose from, none of which really matter more than the other. Pick your damn poison:


     


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Android_devices


    http://www.android.com/devices/

  • Reply 4 of 73
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    These are the first ice cream sandwich (ICS Android 4.x) based handsets HTC has released, which begs the question, is the infringement related to Android or HTC's implementation of Android?

    Was their "work around" also carried over to the ICS updates they have been rolling out to older handsets?
  • Reply 5 of 73
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    quadra 610 wrote: »
    There's about a 100 more Android models to choose from, none of which really matter more than the other.

    It gets worse.
  • Reply 6 of 73
    esoomesoom Posts: 155member


    HTC was well aware this was a possibility, they claimed to have a simple work around and chose to not implement the "easy" work around.


     


    Chickens coming home to roost and all.

  • Reply 7 of 73
    fredaroonyfredaroony Posts: 619member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Esoom View Post


    HTC was well aware this was a possibility, they claimed to have a simple work around and chose to not implement the "easy" work around.


     


    Chickens coming home to roost and all.



    How do you know they didn't implement it?

  • Reply 8 of 73


    The billionaire factory owners in China have unlimited money to throw at this.  Let's hope we get it.

  • Reply 9 of 73
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    Check out the comments on this blog, courtesy of NasserAE.

    Sheesh.

    Average age of commentator: Thirteen, me thinks.
  • Reply 10 of 73
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    solipsismx wrote: »

    Check out that Model break down.

    Ouch!

    (Love the name of the 'Lemon P1')
  • Reply 11 of 73
    fredaroonyfredaroony Posts: 619member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GTR View Post





    Sheesh.

    Average age of commentator: Thirteen, me thinks.


    How is that different than here?

  • Reply 12 of 73
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member

    "Siri, which is the best smartphone?"


    "The one the ITC is holding hostage."
  • Reply 13 of 73
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Esoom View Post


    HTC was well aware this was a possibility, they claimed to have a simple work around and chose to not implement the "easy" work around.


     


    Chickens coming home to roost and all.



     


    I don't think it's clear from this report whether they implemented the workaround or not.  Apple Insider is just wildly speculating there and nothing in the source seems to indicate one way or the other.  


     


    That being said, data detectors are somewhat of a "lock."  


     


    As far as I understand, they are one of those things that Apple invented a long time ago, that it's crystal clear that they invented, and they are fairly broadly defined in the patent.  Apple thought this stuff up long before anyone thought they would be useful, so no one really cared. Now on mobile devices they turn out to be very, very useful and everyone wants to claim that they are "obvious."  


     


    I haven't personally ever heard of any good "workaround" for data detectors and if anyone has any info on how that could be done please post it. I'm pretty sure the only workaround her is just not to use them.  

  • Reply 14 of 73
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,153member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    Check out the comments on this blog, courtesy of NasserAE.


    I am not going to buy any Apple products again.. well.. maybe the next iPhone.. and the one that follows. The next iPad as well.. and the one after! image

  • Reply 15 of 73
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    I haven't personally ever heard of any good "workaround" for data detectors and if anyone has any info on how that could be done please post it. I'm pretty sure the only workaround her is just not to use them.  



    You're right, the easiest workaround is to not use them, with an insignificant degradation of UE. In other cases, like scrolling past the end of the list, the workarounds have been better that the infringing method. In the end, it all evens out.

  • Reply 16 of 73

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    How did we miss this blatant infringement?


     


    I'm not talking about the article, I'm talking about the picture on the right:


     


    htc-one-x.png


     


    IDENTICAL to the iPad.



     


    Stick one in with the pull down menu from iOS 5, sorry Android, will you?

  • Reply 17 of 73
    sleepy3sleepy3 Posts: 244member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    How did we miss this blatant infringement?


     


    I'm not talking about the article, I'm talking about the picture on the right:


     


    htc-one-x.png


     


    IDENTICAL to the iPad.



     


    WOW, for a second there i thought that was an iphone. THAT LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE AN IPHONE. Clearly they STOLE the iphone design and just shipped a product like apple said they did. 


     


    I mean, take out the HTC Logo and anyone in the street will INSTANTLY think its an apple iphone. They deserve to be banned. What a ripoff. 

  • Reply 18 of 73


    How do these phones look like an iphone? 

  • Reply 19 of 73
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    sleepy3 wrote: »
    WOW, for a second there i thought that was an iphone. THAT LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE AN IPHONE. Clearly they STOLE the iphone design and just shipped a product like apple said they did. 

    I mean, take out the HTC Logo and anyone in the street will INSTANTLY think its an apple iphone. They deserve to be banned. What a ripoff. 

    I guess understanding sarcasm was never your strong suit.

    These HTC phones were not banned due to similar appearance to Apple's products, but rather patent infringement. They don't have to look anything alike.
  • Reply 20 of 73
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    I guess understanding sarcasm was never your strong suit.

    These HTC phones were not banned due to similar appearance to Apple's products, but rather patent infringement. They don't have to look anything alike.


    Not banned, just held up.

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