Mobile

HTC testing new phones to work around Apple patent violation

After taking a major hit in court this week from an Apple patent lawsuit, HTC is already in the process of testing new devices and software that workaround the patent violations.

Two days ago, the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that HTC violated two claims of an Apple patent, which will lead to a ban on infringing HTC devices in April 2012. The ruling only effects HTC-made Android phones at this point.

HTC CEO Peter Chou and Google senior VP of mobile Andy Rubin talked to media in Taiwan yesterday about HTC’s game plan to get around the ruling, according to Reuters. Chou said the company is working on new phone models to skirt around the broad violations the ITC indicated, but he did not get into specifics.

With Rubin on hand, Chou indicated the company would work closely with Google to find solutions and fight back companies (ahem, Apple) that want to stifle innovation. “This industry should not allow one company use [this] powerful weapon to stop other innovation and take it all…this is not fair,” Chou reportedly said.

The patent violation the ITC identified is actually so broad it could be applied to other phone interfaces as well. The patent claims cover clickable and actionable phone numbers, addresses and other data points. So the feature to tap on a phone number and have a box popping up asking if you want to call the number will have to be altered inside HTC’s skin of the Android OS if it wants to continue importing phones to the U.S.

What do you think of the impending import ban on HTC’s Android phones?


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