HTC phones stopped at border are beginning to enter the States

HTC: some phones stopped at border are beginning to enter the States
HTC has sent out a release that while short on words, is long on possibilities. The Taiwan based manufacturer says that some of its handsets which were held up by U.S.Customs thanks to ITC intervention, have been released. Some of the devices are now in the hands of the end-user. Based on what the manufacturer has said, this is going to be a long drawn out process as each unit needs to be reviewed by Customs and will be released after this inspection. HTC couldn't say if the freed devices were the AT&T HTC One X, the HTC EVO 4G LTE headed for a launch via Sprint or a combination of both.

That the phones are being released at all might have something to do with the clever move by HTC to replace the infringing software on those units headed for the States with software that most likely is clear of any patent violations. Apple's victory in court led to a ruling that blocked the import of certain HTC devices into the U.S. starting last month. The ITC started blocking the phone's entry into the States this past week. Since then, shipments of the HTC Amaze 4G have been placed on hold although it is unclear whether this has anything to do with the patent issue. HTC says it is confident that this matter will be resolved shortly. The HTC One X for AT&T has already been released although the carrier's website shows that it is currently sold out, which might have something to do with the ban. The HTC EVO 4G LTE was set to launch on May 18th via Sprint, but obviously that will have to be changed. An earlier May 23rd date mentioned by Best Buy in an email as the device's new launch date was later rescinded.

A number of Motorola Mobility handsets will be stopped at the border because of a victory that Microsoft was given in court back in October 2010. The ITC will be intervening like it did with the HTC models. While the ITC did not mention which of Motorola's models will not make it to the U.S., Microsoft has asked for the ban on the following Motorola phones: the Atrix, Backflip, Bravo, Charm, Cliq, Cliq 2, Cliq XT, Defy, Devour, Droid 2, Droid 2 Global, Droid Pro, Droid X, Droid X2, Flipout, Flipside, Spice and the Xoom tablet be held up at the border.

If this is the next step in the patent wars between manufacturers, we are looking at some big mess and if certain models get taken off the market due to the ITC, prices are going to rise as demand for banned models outstrips supply. Let's hope cooler heads prevail and we don't get to that point. Hope starts tomorrow when Samsung and Apple meet at the CEO-level on Monday and Tuesday in an attempt to work out an agreement on all of the litigation between the two rivals.

source: HTC via Engadget

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