ITC makes preliminary ruling in favor of Apple in patent infringement case with HTC

ITC makes preliminary ruling in favor of Apple in patent infringement case with HTC
A U.S. ITC judge on Monday issued a preliminary ruling that Apple did not infringe on four HTC patents. HTC and Apple are slugging it out in different courts around the globe. Back in July, the ITC made a preliminary ruling that HTC had infringed on two of Apple's patents and a final verdict is due on December 6th. The four patents involved in Monday's ruling have to do with looking up phone numbers and dialing them quickly on a smartphone, and managing power consumption on a mobile device.

HTC's General Counsel Grace Lei said in a statement that the ITC's ruling is "just one step in the process" and Lei is confident that HTC has a "strong case for the ITC appeals process". But more important rulings lie ahead, according to the Wall Street Journal. The big financial daily says that upcoming rulings will decide whether or not HTC's products can be banned from entering the States. On November 13th, the ITC will decide on a preliminary ruling if Apple infringed on a pair of patents owned by S3 Graphics, a company HTC is in the process of acquiring. December 6th should bring the aforementioned final ruling on the pair of Apple patents that the ITC said in a preliminary ruling that HTC infringed upon.

Apple's goal with these suits is to get an injunction against HTC devices from entering the States. Birdy Lu, an analyst for Samsung Securities (that's the real name of the firm, folks!) says that a cross-licensing agreement between Apple and HTC is probably in the cards especially after HTC earlier sued Apple over patents that Google had transferred over to the Taiwan based manufacturer. Lu believes that HTC has a strong case against Apple in that suit, although a decision is about a year away.

source: WallStreetJournal

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51 Comments

1. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

I was wondering when you were going to post this as you are a bit behind on the storry. I was hopping mike would post this however alan you did a good job yourself. As for my opinion on the case i don't have alot of knowledge of these patents or what it says so i really cant comment about that. However i do hope for the patent wars to come to an end and hope the companies can negiotate a fair deal instead of letting the courts decide.

4. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

The only issue with that is that Apple is not interested in a fair deal in the slightest. The only fair deal to Apple is a deal where nobody but Apple benefits. This is their business philosophy with their competitors and even their business partners. Both places I've worked at now which sell iPhones get little to nothing from Apple to sell them, forcing me and my coworkers to sell pretty much every accessory/insurance/everything just to make up the money we lose by not selling a non Apple product. In fact, where I work now, we receive a gigantic goose egg from Apple, while every other manufacturer gives us 200 dollars. Granted, the insurance on Apple products gives us more than on other phones, but it's still far less than what we would make selling even a basic phone to someone. And quite frankly, when I present facts like these to the worst iFanboys, they shrug it off and essentially agree that Apple deserves to keep every red cent for the leg work we have to do as retailers. I literally feel like a slave owned by Apple when I have to activate one of their phones for a customer. And by the way, I'm not asking you to change your opinion on Apple in any way. You're a good guy, Biophone. I respect you even if we disagree.

7. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

u r a bit wrong with the fact that apple doesnt make amends.. it is documented that they tried to settle with samsung numerous times, so i am sure they did that for htc as well.. and i think your sales point is invalid becuase why wud verizon att and sprint all promote and want the iphone so badly if it didnt make them any money… and i dont see what u mean with "agree"… its a fact about how much apple makes… and dont u get paid a salary? or does it depend on how many iphones you sell (ironic)?

11. sethyvball

Posts: 46; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

I think its pretty obvious why carriers promote iphones. They want people to be on their network and to be on their plans, and they want to gain popularity. I don't understand why you fail to see this.

14. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

exactly… i am saying that is exactly what it is… why am i failing to see that carriers want the iphone? thats kind of my point…

13. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

I get paid a salary right now. I'm not on personal commission, but I get a monthly bonus based on how much money the store makes compared to our expenditures budget. Since we get zero extra revenue on the iPhone compared to what we have to pay for it, it comes up as a 0 and hurts that percentage my income depends on. In order to make up for it, I absolutely have to try to sell as many extras as I can on an iPhone just so we make SOMETHING for the store. Fortunately, we currently make plenty off of other phones right now, but if Apple were to get what it wanted and ban all other smartphone manufacturers from the market, we'd face a serious cut in our revenue. Oh yeah, and that percentage also determines how many hours our manager gets to split between us. The lower the percentage, the fewer hours we get to work. At my previous iPhone related job, the retailer got 25 bucks for each iPhone sold, with no revenue for the attached data plan. At 14 percent personal commission, that meant I literally got about 3 bucks on my paycheck for selling an iPhone. Again, it came down to what extras I could sell. On the other hand, even the least profitable Android phone got us at least 80 to 90 bucks, PLUS a commission on the data plan we sold. Which obviously meant a bare minimum of 11 bucks on my paycheck for an Android phone. And even going past the obvious effect on my income, I consider it incredibly insulting that Apple thinks so little of the people who sell their devices and do all the interaction with their customers that they give us so little. It's like a big middle finger to us, like saying "we could put these in a f**king vending machine if we wanted to. You serve no more purpose than a mechanical arm would if it was handing our products out of a basket." Now the carriers would make some money because they automatically get their revenue from the customers' monthly bills. As long as the customer doesn't completely default on the bill, the carriers get all the money they need, no matter what phone is on the account. All they need is the warm body coming in and signing the contract. And to be fair, Apple brings in a TON of warm bodies to carriers. But rest assured, in the end, no one is making more money than Apple. Riddle me this: who's been making the obscene profits over the last four years, and who's been doing okay, but not great despite being the second largest mobile carrier by a narrow margin? At&t, or Apple?

15. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

hm.. i see what ur saying but i have to say i think it is more a fault with the carrier… it is not really up to apple about ur commission… carriers promote the iphone so heavily and they literally put commercials everywhere, so they should give you an incentive to sell them… i suppose it cud be thought of as apples fault but i think it is more the carrier knowing that they dont have to upush u to sell iphones because they will get enough buyers already… yes apple has done very well, but so has att, verizon, htc, and samsung… none of them make money by selling devices cheap… all i can say is apple does what apple needs to do to be a top knotch business and i respect it greatly for that… although i certainly think your salary thing is more of a carrier choice than an apple choice…

22. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Actually, it IS Apple's fault, because in order for the carrier to not pay us any money for selling the phone (or in the case of the previous employer, pay us the 25 bucks) Apple had to negotiate it. Another thing Apple negotiated was to force my previous employers to buy a 3000 dollar display for each store in order to keep selling it. Guess where that 3 grand went? Apple. Guess how many iPhones each store had to sell to pay for that display? 136. 136 iPhones have to be sold at each store in their chain JUST to pay for the Apple display that Apple forced them to buy. So yes, since the effect on my salary at each time has been unique to Apple, due to terms that APPLE NEGOTIATED TO SECURE WITH THE CARRIERS, it is MOST CERTAINLY Apple's doing and not the carriers. Lucas, sometimes you just can't ignore the darkness. Sometimes it stares you in the face and laughs, and no matter what you do, you can't get rid of it. Again, are the carriers making the super record profits that no other company on Earth can make? No. In fact, they're only doing okay. It's Apple that is making these super profits, by making sure that every cent possible goes into the company treasury.

29. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

as i said before, if the iphone was not making them money, why would they spend so much money and effort on it? please dont try and pretend to be metaphorical with me… it doesnt make u seem more intelligent… and i really dont see why u r so against a succesful american business… thats what a business is for… are u a commy? hahahahaha

32. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Come on, Lucas, you were doing really well before. The carriers do make money because their money comes from the monthly bill, not from the sale of the phone itself. Therefore if they know a phone is popular, they will use it to sell their service. I wasn't attempting to sound smarter. It's just the way I write. And no, I'm a free market anarchist. Apple is no friend to the free market. They want a market locked down for them and them alone, although they'll toss a bone here and there to a business partner.

52. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

again with the condescending talk... okay so when you work in a carrier business, im sorry you get the blunt end of the deal... i am simply saying i dont see how everything is all apples fault that you dont make money when you sell an iphone... apple is a great friend to the free market... every company wants a monopoly of their product!!!!! (AHEM GOOGLE IRONIC) cough google cough... did i meantion how google wants a monopoly on search and how they want a monopoly on phones? if what ur saying is true, why doesnty google just make their procuts worse so they loose some marketshare and make it a more "free market"

47. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

I am on team lucas on this one

16. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

So why does your store sell Apple stuff?

18. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Well, probably because we're contractually obligated to, and also because we're still able to make money off of them as long as we sell the accessories. Taco, I work for the store. Are you really going to tell me that you know more about how the store makes its money than I do?

20. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

I just asked a question. If the store made no money off Apple they'd be better off not selling Apple stuff at all it seems. As far as I know you work at an indirect store so they don't have to sell anything they don't want to.

23. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Incorrect. Indirect stores absolutely have to sell the iPhone. This is not negotiable. And again, while we don't make money off the phone itself, if we sell accessories/insurance we do make money. Just not nearly as much as if those extras were attached to a phone we were actually being paid to sell. And the solution isn't simply "go work for corporate." I know they don't get the raw deal that indirects do (though they have plenty of other bulls**t rules to make up for that). Sometimes, Taco, someone submits an application only to be told there are better candidates available. Sometimes, corporate doesn't want to hire the guy who just moved into the area with no college degree and a few more jobs per year than he should have in his history. I'm not going to turn this into a sob story, but your suggested solution implies that Apple's policy of f**king over everyone it can for an extra buck is A-ok, and it's my problem that they have such a policy.

25. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

All I'm saying is if Apple was screwing everyone as you claim no one would do business with them.

27. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Again, the carriers' revenue is independent of Apple's payouts to indirect retailers, and the indirects can still make up for the lack of direct revenue by extras. If the iPhone was not as insanely popular as it is, then no, companies wouldn't deal with them. As a matter of fact, last year when Verizon got the iPad, the indirect store I worked for sent the iPads we were shipped back. At the time, we DID refuse to sell them, probably for the same damn reason. Nowadays, I know that chain has to sell the iPhone because I checked and they sell it. For the indirects, it's a matter of two factors: 1) they don't have a choice and 2) their asses are saved by potential extras sales. For the carriers, it's a matter of their revenue being independent mostly of the money Apple gets off their products, and because of the extras they get to sell. So no, right now no one is screwed, but it's not for lack of effort on Apple's part. And I know that as salespeople at both jobs my coworkers and I did strive to sell anything but the iPhone if we could help it (though I still refuse to sell phones I know are bad/non satisfactory- for instance, I shy away from selling Blackberry as well).

40. Snapdude

Posts: 128; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

i feel your pain sniggly. my company as well has to deal with low profit margins on iphone, but it brings in people who potentially buy other things and promote the business through word of mouth. so we endure the apple corporate raping in order to reap the secondary benfefits.. its just the way the world works. apple does really push the bounds of patent infringement litigation with trying to limit competitotrs product availability and in the end it will only hurt them by choking the life out of their front lines, us, the sales people in the retail chain will have nothing to sustain our business with because there will only be apple products and they do not bring in the revenue needed to operate a business... slipperly slope they are heading towards with this litigation.

21. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

I actually do work in an environment where I understand commission structure for cell phone carriers. Sales reps get paid the same commission for selling an iPhone as any other phone. Indirect may be different. Get a corporate job.

51. JGuinan007

Posts: 699; Member since: May 19, 2011

Sprint, Verison, and AT&T don't make money off the Iphones themselves they make money on the locked in two year contracts with them the price of the phone goes right to Apple.

35. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

1. Hey sniggly, why don't you cry me a river at some other website. If you don't like your job, find one that you do like. 2. "The only issue with that is that Apple is not interested in a fair deal in the slightest. The only fair deal to Apple is a deal where nobody but Apple benefits. This is their business philosophy with their competitors and even their business partners." That is such bullsh*t and it came from sniggly no less. Hey sniggly, look up webkit as it is something that Apple developed. Even Android and Chrome uses webkit. This is what wikipedia.org had to say about webkit: "WebKit is a layout engine designed to allow web browsers to render web pages. WebKit powers Apple Safari and Google Chrome and by August 2011 held nearly 30% of desktop browser market share between them. It is also used as the basis for the experimental browser included with the Amazon Kindle ebook reader, as well as the default browser in the iOS and Android mobile operating systems." This is what the late Steve Jobs said about webkit: "Apple even creates open standards for the web. For example, Apple began with a small open source project and created WebKit, a complete open-source HTML5 rendering engine that is the heart of the Safari web browser used in all our products. WebKit has been widely adopted. Google uses it for Android’s browser, Palm uses it, Nokia uses it, and RIM (Blackberry) has announced they will use it too. Almost every smartphone web browser other than Microsoft’s uses WebKit. By making its WebKit technology open, Apple has set the standard for mobile web browsers." The next time you surf the web on your android device, thank Apple for their technology. Don't choke on this fact.

37. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

If you read the whole thing web kit is based on a linux repository, Apple took it and added a few stuff: "WebKit was originally derived by Apple Inc. from the Konqueror browser's KHTML software library for use as the engine of Safari web browser, and has now been further developed by individuals from KDE, Apple Inc., Nokia, Google, Bitstream, Torch Mobile, Samsung, Igalia, and others. [2] Mac OS X, Windows, GNU/Linux, and some other Unix-like operating systems are supported by the project. [3] WebKit's WebCore and JavaScriptCore components are available under the GNU Lesser General Public License, and the rest of WebKit is available under a BSD-style license. [4]" And also google added its own stuff to the webkit and have their own version, webkit is open source because of the licence agreement apple had to take with the open source groups. Also. Check the webkit it. Bases some stuff on a similar approach to. The one in Chromium. So thank all those hard working needs for their hard work and apple for making it popular

45. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

That's correct that the android web browsers is based on Apple's webkit. You hear about how Apple doesn't share anything and it's B.S. I wonder if sniggly or other android fanboys every get this point that they are using Apple IP.

2. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

I expect a lot of hate in moderation, pun intendeded, on this article. Really good to see Apple winning their cases. They spend a lot of money, effort and sweat on innovation. They make amazing products and deserve to profit from their hard work. Back to the drawing table HTC and Samsung.

9. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

they really do… and for anybody who says how can apple get away with this, well, its not really apple its the US court… and i am forced to believe the court of law becuase if not, what would our country come to…

3. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Yep, great to see that Apple gets away with infringing on other peoples' patents, but everyone else supposedly infringes on them. I mean, what is Apple's goal here? A monopoly on smartphone sales in the U.S.? How absolutely f**king monstrous. This goes beyond protecting intellectual property; this is about cornering the market and eliminating choice so that consumers feel that they HAVE to buy from Apple. And considering that these other manufacturers earn retailers much more up front money than they earn from sales of Apple products, such an eventuality will eventually damage wireless retailers and support companies across countries and borders. But that's the future Apple is aiming for: an Appleocracy. They're not interested in the free market. They're interested in BEING the market. Fortunately, they will probably ultimately fail at this goal. Even if they win, Samsung, HTC, Motorola, LG, Huawei, Sony, and anyone I forgot will work twice as hard to put out non "infringing" handsets quickly, and their products will only continue to get better while Apple runs out of patents to sue over. Freedom will win in the end. It may be a struggle at times, but freedom and light will win over the cage Apple wants the market to be in. Yeah, this is a diatribe. But I have a strong sense of justice and morality, and I feel very strongly about cases where I feel justice has not prevailed. And I see any actions taken to restrict freedom or the free market (barring restrictions on hurting others) as completely immoral.

5. Penny

Posts: 1844; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

What he said. +1,000,000 ^

6. tomast

Posts: 50; Member since: Oct 16, 2011

i think apple use to be one of the underdogs the company every one was cheering for but now there just drunk with power.

8. cncrim

Posts: 1530; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Well done

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