The US International Trade Commission has just ruled in favor of Apple’s patent claims against HTC, banning some HTC devices from sale and importation to the US. The decision comes after ITC found that HTC violated two claims on one of Apple’s patents. This final patent infringement ruling will not take effect until April 19, 2012.
The patent violated is #5,946,647, which is a system level patent involving analyzing and linking data structures. This makes the ruling all the more interesting as it indicates that Android as a whole violates the patent, rather than HTC’s specific implementation.
The ITC released a statement on the ruling:
“Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has found a violation of section 337 in this investigation and has issued a limited exclusion order prohibiting importation of infringing personal data and mobile communications devices and related software. The Commission has determined that exclusion of articles subject to this order shall commence on April 19, 2012.”
The ITC has already delayed making this ruling twice before and there are still 60 days for the decision to be fully approved or vetoed, while the ban will not take effect until next year. HTC will be allowed to import refurbished products for warranty replacement purposes until December 19, 2013. At this point, it’s not clear which specific HTC devices will be banned.