A fresh controversy involving HTC and, not surprisingly, Apple Inc., has surfaced and this time round, it’s the new next-generation Android flagship HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE handsets that may be in for some trouble in US.
Shipments of the two models have reportedly been halted at US borders in compliance with an International Trade Council (ITC) exclusion order that was issued to Apple last year in a case of patent infringement. The lawsuit, initiated by Apple was over Apple’s concerns of patent infringement over HTC’s Android implementation. The particular feature under fire outlines a technology for automated detection of data such as phone numbers and email addresses, which converts them to links that give way to a series of options. HTC countered this by issuing a statement (no, not crying foul) that they would look into the matter and resolve any issue before releasing their handsets in the States. HTC has also worked to strengthen its patent portfolio by licensing patents from Microsoft.
However, this cannot be justified till the ITC gives the consignment a green signal, which depends wholly and solely on them. The review might take time, further pushing the date of official release forward, or in an unfortunate turn of events, may completely ban the handsets, in spite of HTC having a large customer base in the US. Apparently, AT&T had also started pre-booking of the handsets, but had to pull down the feature after the controversy came up.
Though the patent in question is not of great value, it may handicap the phone in comparison with the models that are with it in competition, and cause potential loss.
So, while HTC is made to sit around and wait for clearance to come their way, Apple can have a hearty laugh and enjoy a juicy bit of sweet revenge.