HTC removes patent in ITC case against Apple

Here's a quick refresher on HTC's legal battle against Apple: the company's launch of the One X and EVO 4G LTE in the United States was stalled briefly thanks to an import ban handed down by the ITC after the handsets were found to infringe on one of Apple's patents. Now, in a second case involving the ITC, HTC has had to remove a crucial patent, bringing its total claims down from 8 to 2.FOSS Patents reports that HTC withdrew another patent from its ITC case against Apple on Monday, #7,765,414. The patent relates to a "circuit and operating method for integrated interface of PDA and wireless communication system[s]." HTC originally brought a complaint against Apple in August 2011, citing three patents at first, then adding five given to the company on loan from Google. The judge in the case threw those loaned patents out in June, however, leaving HTC with its original three.

The withdrawal of this latest patent means HTC is now only asserting two claims against Apple in its ITC complaint. Apple, meanwhile, is claiming that FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms) is being blatantly abused, and is counterclaiming against HTC in US District Court over two other patents. Patent #7,765,414 was HTC's only in-house patent, with its others borrowed from other companies such as Google and ADT. The trial in this particularly case is due to start within the next month.

It's not the first time HTC has tangled with Apple and the ITC. Back in June, Apple secured an import ban against the HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE, as both handsets were found to infringe on one of Cupertino's patents. HTC quickly issued a software fix to remove the offending functionality, relating to menu context items, allowing the phones back into the United States. Apple cried foul, however, and still asserts that multiple HTC phones still infringe on its patents.