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Federal Judge rules against Apple as HTC's patents will stand

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Federal Judge rules against Apple as HTC's patents will stand
Apple and HTC are currently battling each other in Federal Court over-what else?-patents.In this case, it is HTC that is suing Apple claiming infringement on patents related to LTE technology. The Taiwan based manufacturer was, after all, the first to bring a touchscreen LTE enabled model to the U.S. and the patents involved are considered by HTC to be "critical" to the how the technology functions.

"I don’t care if they bought these patents to sue you or not. They are a property right. Clear and convincing means something to me. I have to be pretty darn certain a U.S. patent is invalid."-Judge Thomas Pender to Apple
The problem, as Apple sees it, is that HTC purchased the IP from ADC Telecommunications in April 2011 for $75 million. Apple asked the court to rule that the patents are invalid because HTC purchased them just to aggressively use them in court. Judge Thomas Pender shot down that argument quickly and clearly. Apple does have a potential low-rent exit possible. The patents could qualify for FRAND pricing under which Apple would be allowed to license them at a fair price.

If HTC wins the case, they will have the right to seek an import ban in the U.S. for the Apple iPhone if it comes to market with LTE connectivity, and the latest LTE enabled model of the Apple iPad. With this much at stake, Apple is probably not going to get as aggressive in court as it did with its patent fight against Samsung.

There was one light moment in court on Friday when Judge Pender asked Apple lawyer Michael McKeon if the new version of Apple's iconic touchscreen phone was going to be introduced next week. McKeon said that he wasn't privy to that information. Judge Pender then asked, "It will be thinner and the screen bigger?"and McKeon responded, “That’s what the blogs are saying."

source: Bloomberg, TalkAndroid via Phandroid

163 Comments
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posted on 08 Sep 2012, 13:53 91

1. Non_Sequitur (Posts: 1111; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)


YES. Finally, Apple gets a taste of their own medicine.

posted on 08 Sep 2012, 14:23 34

11. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Yup-per! Apple is going to have a different experience this time around. LTE is an area where it has the least coverage against infringement litigation.

I wonder if the New iPhone is going to suffer an import ban? That would certainly be pay-back for Apple's attempt to impose an import ban against HTC.

posted on 08 Sep 2012, 14:27 23

12. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

posted on 08 Sep 2012, 21:30 13

129. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


this is hilarious :))

"Apple asked the court to rule that the patents are invalid because HTC purchased them just to aggressively use them in court."

from a company who recently bought LTE patents to protect its product. :))

posted on 08 Sep 2012, 14:29 22

13. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I think they're going to suffer form the IB. Things are looking good for HTC and Samsung now that they've brought out the LTE patents, and if they play their cards right, the iPhone 5 will be banned. Payback is a b*tch.

posted on 08 Sep 2012, 14:44 28

19. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


An import ban for LTE is going to be much more problematic for Apple than the design patent ban was for HTC. Designs can be worked around relatively quickly. An LTE ban would require the chip to be disabled somehow, which would make the New iPhone a New iPhone 3G....

Maybe Apple would have to change their marketing pitch from the New iPhone to the Old iPhone?

posted on 08 Sep 2012, 15:03 31

30. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Lol yup. Apple started all of these lawsuits, now HTC, Sammy, and Google are ending them.

posted on 08 Sep 2012, 15:04 4

31. darkkjedii (Posts: 22463; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Droid x Doug this isn't a pro apple comment, but you'd have to b nuts to think the new iPhone will b banned in theUS. Over seas maybe, but here no way in hell bro. That device is far too important to our national economy. Apples business practices can b quite hypocritical at times... I admit that, but u and I both know there will b no iPhone ban, and none of samsungs will b banned either the stock market and the weak ut recovering national economy simply won't allow it. Apple will get hit, but with licensing fees and a fine. That's about it. What do u think bro from a business stand point, not an apple hater stand point like some people give their opinions?

posted on 08 Sep 2012, 15:18 11

36. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


The ITC doesn't consider impact to a company's financial statements in deciding whether to impose an import ban. While you don't appear to believe this, wait and see what happens if HTC's patents get upheld.

Regarding the Apple vs. Sammy pissing match, Apple was all set to argue which of Sammy's products should be banned from being imported into the U.S. Then Judge Koh gave Sammy a break by putting out that discussion until December, 2012. If Sammy is not able to get a stay while the case is appealed, come December, there will be some form of import ban order from Judge Koh.

Again, impact on an infringing company's financial statement is not a criteria for deciding whether to impose a ban. If Apple can successfully argue that it is suffering such that a fine will not fully compensate it for the suffering, it meets its burden for why it should get the ban. Infringement has already been proven to the satisfaction of the jury.

posted on 08 Sep 2012, 15:33 5

41. darkkjedii (Posts: 22463; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Good post bro. Well said

posted on 08 Sep 2012, 15:19 6

37. whysoserious (Posts: 318; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)


"none of samsungs will b banned either..."

http://www.phonearena.com/news/The-devices-Apple-
managed-to-get-banned_id33155

posted on 08 Sep 2012, 15:39 2

42. darkkjedii (Posts: 22463; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


I hope not bro, cuz I'm a huge fan of apple Samsung iOS, and android. I live tech dude... Big time!

posted on 08 Sep 2012, 20:29 2

125. joey_sfb (Posts: 6118; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Should be Samsung Apple's iOS. Since samsung build like 90% of the device. 10% being software and other stuff e.g home button.

posted on 08 Sep 2012, 15:20 12

38. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Honestly, if I were HTC, I would ban the iP5 if they don't agree on some heavy licensing terms. Just because it's a "popular" phone doesn't mean it can't get banned. Look back at the Samsung vs. Apple courtcase. Apple is seeking to ban the Galaxy S even though it was the first major Android phone that sold well over the 10 million mark for Samsung.

posted on 08 Sep 2012, 15:41 3

43. darkkjedii (Posts: 22463; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


True and apple would b smart enough to fork over cash, versus losing tons more in a ban. Plus Htc needs the money with the way they've been falling off with sales. Don't u think?

posted on 08 Sep 2012, 16:29 13

54. Angkor (Posts: 108; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


HTC should ask Apple to pay $1 billion per year on licensing the LTE. It a pay back time for HTC.

posted on 08 Sep 2012, 17:02 2

62. darkkjedii (Posts: 22463; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Dumb!!!

posted on 08 Sep 2012, 19:12 7

110. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)


no they should pay 10 billion since they ask soo much damn money from samsung.

posted on 08 Sep 2012, 21:42 4

130. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


nah, you can't just say $1B

Let's just say that if apple could ask samsung around $30 to $40 in every product for a design patent.

HTC should ask around $50 to $60 in every product for a useful patent.

If that is the case, $50 x 30 million of iPhone 5 =$1 500 000 000
+ $60 x 10 million iPad = $600 000 000

That would be around $2.1B for the first year, that's a huge money taken from two products. HAHAHA

posted on 08 Sep 2012, 18:22 1

91. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Too much talk of throwing nuclear weapons here.

Even if HTC's patents hold up against the inevitable validity challenge, the absolute worst that they can do to Apple is a temporary sales ban. Apple could pull an HTC and release a software update that disables the LTE radio. That would take maybe 2 weeks max to do. Then Apple can ship the New (Old) iPhone. As long as Apple can demonstrate that the LTE radio is truly disabled and not something that can be simply circumvented with a developers version of iOS, they have met the non-infringement test. Sure, there would be disruption as each phone was checked at customs to be sure it had the update, but that would be it.

Apple would suffer some erosion of its market share due to not having LTE, but the vast majority of its customers are more into cool than LTE speed. The LTE speedfreaks have already moved to Android. Plus, there is the matter of the golden handcuffs (cost of switching from the iOS ecosystem).

posted on 08 Sep 2012, 16:23 4

52. cncrim (Posts: 860; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)


From bussiness stand point any ban any electronic is low and dirty becuase there are thousand parts in the a device and just because one part is same then ban the whole unit it sell instead penalty like license fee. But apple not will to do any of either pay 30 per unit sale or face court, basicly said i'm not license you the technology.

As far apple wont be ban in US you are wrong, if Plaintiff can proof apple is infringe, she will face the same consequence as HTC. As today there is no law said hometown product can not be ban ....... and if apple ban cause US economic a hole then congress will fix the system otherwise we will se apple face the same fate as HTC.

posted on 09 Sep 2012, 09:16

157. Raymond_htc (Posts: 430; Member since: 06 Apr 2012)


ur already being a pro apple.... YOU DON'T SAY?

posted on 09 Sep 2012, 10:55

162. jamz82277 (Posts: 3; Member since: 09 Sep 2012)


Just hwo do you figure that the iPhone 5 has anything to do with the national economy? It has NOTHING to do with the US economy. It has to do with Apple's profits and that is all! Apple deserves to get hit with a ban, and if HTC won't do it I know one company that will- Samsung.. And guess who owns a bunch of non standard essential LTE patents? Samsung. Guess who has already found infringement of their non standard essential LTE patents in the LTE version of the iPad? Samsung. Apple is about to get slammed for their incessant patent litigation in the form of a Major hit in its stock and its product sales (or the lack thereof).

posted on 08 Sep 2012, 17:23 6

67. PAPINYC (banned) (Posts: 2315; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)


I thought the new iPhone was going to be 2G?

Awhhhhhhh maaaan..... iCan't believe iLost that bet!

posted on 08 Sep 2012, 17:58 2

87. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


That would help all its problems with 3G reception and data/voice switching

posted on 09 Sep 2012, 01:49

148. Hemlocke (unregistered)


Yes, except that this just allows those patents to stand in the trial. Apple does own the Nortel LTE patents, as well as have third-party LTE licensing through Qualcomm, who has more LTE patents than HTC and Samsung, combined. This is not going to result in any sort of ban.

posted on 08 Sep 2012, 21:06 4

128. lyndon420 (Posts: 4655; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


Go htc. Would be hilarious if every LTE patent holder attacked apple at the same time. Couple that with screen supply problems etc and the iphone will have a tough time being released. Every OEM who works with apple needs to stop supplying them with parts once their contracts are up. Karma.

posted on 08 Sep 2012, 15:14 9

34. whysoserious (Posts: 318; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)


And they'll be tasting it across the word because i heard that apple's gonna have a global lte version of the iphone 5. Smells like someone's gonna have a global product ban anytime soon.

posted on 08 Sep 2012, 15:44 1

45. darkkjedii (Posts: 22463; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


I know one thing dude by Xmas I will have the iPhone 5, and the gnote 2. Thatll b the best of both worlds.

posted on 08 Sep 2012, 18:29 4

93. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Don't rule out the monster from HTC (5.5 inch 1080p display, S4 Pro (quadcore) CPU, 2 Gb RAM, JB...) That will be one motherf*cking phablet that immediately ups the ante for everyone else.

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