HTC and Nokia did not violate Apple's iPhone patents, according to an initial report by the ITC. A judge is expected to officially rule on the case in August.
Nokia did not violate Apple's technology patents on the iPhone, according to an
initial report by the staff of the U.S. International Trade Commission. While
the findings are not binding, the report does deal a severe blow to Apple,
which is seeking to stop HTC and Nokia from selling smartphones that the
company believes steals from the iPhone's design.
and Taiwan-based smartphone maker HTC had their first day in court April 18, as
the ITC trial got under way. Apple first filed its complaint with the ITC in
staff, which acts on behalf of the public as a third party, found that neither
HTC nor Nokia-which has also been accused of violating Apple patents-should be
found liable of infringing on Apple's patents, according to a report from Bloomberg
. The staff's recommendations are
taken into consideration but are not binding.
reports that there are more than a dozen smartphone-related cases currently
before the ITC, and that this is the first to reach this stage. Apple is
claiming that HTC infringes on five patents related to the integration of
smartphone hardware and software, and is looking to ban the import of HTC
smartphones running Google's Android operating system.
lawyer Greg Arovas argued, according to the report, that "what makes Apple
products so successful is not just what you see, but what's under the
lawyer Robert Van Nest, meanwhile, painted a picture of HTC's history in the
is a smartphone innovator and pioneer in the smartphone sphere-they were there
long before Apple," Van Nest said, according to Bloomberg. "The
fundamental differences from the Apple patents represent choices made by HTC
lawyer for Nokia, Pat Flinn, added that the Apple iPhone doesn't even make use
of the technology described by the patent-and developed in the early 1990s-but
that Apple simply decided to "dredge up patents."
5 Judge Carl Charneski is scheduled to reveal his findings, which will then be
subject to a review by all six members of the Commission.
its filing of the suit in early 2010, Apple released a March
2 press statement
in which Apple CEO Steve Jobs asserted, "We can sit
by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something
about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their
own original technology
, not steal
responded in a March 17 statement, saying that it disagreed with Apple's
actions and planned to "fully defend itself."
strongly advocates intellectual property protection and will continue to
respect other innovators and their technologies as we have always done, but we
will continue to embrace competition through our own innovation as a healthy
way for consumers to get the best mobile experience possible," HTC CEO
Peter Chou said in the statement. He went on to detail several of HTC's
industry milestones, including the release of the world's first 3.5-inch color
touch-screen smartphone in 2002. (The first iPhone debuted June 29, 2007.)
filed its own patent-infringement suit
against Apple, accusing it of
infringing on five patents.
innovator of the original Windows Mobile PocketPC Phone Edition in 2002 and the
first Android smartphone in 2008, HTC believes the industry should be driven by
healthy competition and innovation that offer consumers the best, most
accessible mobile experiences possible," Jason Mackenzie, HTC's vice president
for North America, said in a May 12, 2010 statement. "We are taking this action
against Apple to protect our intellectual property, our industry partners and,
most importantly, our customers that use HTC phones."
to Bloomberg, the HTC case is scheduled to begin May 9-a week after the Apple
case should be completed-before a different ITC judge.
and Apple's patent-infringement claims against each other are
numerous and varied
and go back to October 2009, when Nokia filed a suit
pertaining to 10 of its patents related to GSM, UMTS and WLAN communication
Rahnasto, vice president of Nokia's legal and intellectual property division,
said in a statement at the time, "Apple is attempting to get a free ride
on the back of Nokia's innovation."