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Apple notches partial ban on HTC


Oh International Trade Commission. You just had to make it complicated, didn’t you? You couldn’t have just said, “All HTC products are banned immediately because Apple’s patent claims are right” and you couldn’t have said, “Hey Apple, go jump in a lake, these claims are bogus and HTC can carry on.” No, you had to nitpick and now my job is harder.
Apple won a claim against HTC for violating patents and it will be enforced starting in April. But it’s not a general ban on all HTC Android devices. According to the Foss Patents blog it affects 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.

So Google can try to remove this feature in an Android update between now and April and if they do so, then life continues as usual. If not, HTC needs to not sell phones that have it.

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John Moe is the host of Marketplace Tech Report, where he provides an insightful overview of the latest tech news.
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Shucks. Another BS patent ruins innovation, makes lawyers lots of money, and screws consumers out of features. I've had Nokia phones that did this since before Apple even released an iPod, let alone dreamt of an iPhone. It's called 'Prior Art.' I suspect that Apple may have to learn the painful lesson that Microsoft did, that locking out competitors with questionable patents just won't work.

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