ITC again delays ruling on Apple v. HTC; decision due Dec. 19th

“Last week the ITC postponed its final decision on Apple’s first complaint against HTC to today (December 6, 2011),” Florian Mueller reports for FOSS Patents.

“Now Reuters and The Wall Street Journal report that HTC told reporters the ITC has delayed its decision once again, this time postponing it to Monday, December 19, 2011,” Mueller reports. “I trust HTC on this but, unlike last week’s delay, this one is not yet announced on the ITC website or in the publicly accessible part of the U.S. government agency’s Electronic Document Information System.”

“With no reason known, I recommend not to read anything into this. It doesn’t bode well or ill for any party. The ITC has a huge workload these days, and this is a case involving four distinct patents,” Mueller reports. “In July, an Administrative Law Judge found HTC to infringe two Apple patents while holding at the same time that two others were not infringed. HTC requested a review of the decision with respect to those two patents, and Apple had asked for a contingent review, asking the ITC to take a look at the other two patents as well if it grants (as it quite expectedly did) HTC’s request for a review.”

Mueller reports, “On Tuesday, published this highly recommended article on the state of this investigation and the likely outcome. The article quotes a Houston University law professor who thinks the ITC is likely to affirm the July findings. I’m not so sure, but Apple is rather likely to win on at least one or two patents.”

Read more in the full article here.

Jenna Greene reports for The National Law Journal via, “Before his death, Apple Inc. Chief Execu­tive Officer Steve Jobs famously vowed to go ‘thermonuclear’ against Google Inc.’s Android operating system for smartphones. The company has been following through on Jobs’ threat, and ground zero is the International Trade Commission.”

“The tiny agency is poised to issue a final decision this week in the first fully litigated patent infringement case in the United States between Apple and an Android phone maker, HTC Corp.,” Greene reports. “The decision, a test of sorts for Jobs’ assertion in a recent biography that Android is ‘a stolen product,’ could reshape the market for smartphones and the rollout of high-speed 4G networks.”

Greene reports, “The ITC has the discretion to forgo an exclusion order if it finds there’s a public interest in keeping an infringing product on the market. ‘It’s an extremely high bar,’ said Sapna Kumar, an assistant professor of law at the University of Houston Law Center who is a former patent litigator and follows the ITC closely. The last time the ITC determined an exclusion order was not in the public interest was in 1984, in a case involving beds for burn victims where there was no alternative product, she said. ‘It was a matter of life and death.’ Here, she noted, the main argument is that an exclusion order would promote a monopoly for Apple — a concern that in the past ‘the ITC hasn’t cared about.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple deserves a monopoly. In a just world, to the innovator goes the spoils, not to knockoff peddlers whose OS and devices looked like BlackBerry knockoffs until they saw the iPhone.


  1. Strange to here the ITC has that discretion (even if it almost never uses it). Without the details it’s hard to know what to think. But how do you justify it in the case of a bed, but not for example, a cancer drug?

  2. For some reason, I have this sinking feeling that the ITC will protect the Asian companies. Those companies that build their business in stealing IP, copying products and selling them at below market price that companies outside of Asia cannot compete in.

    1. HTC does not sell ‘cheap’ android phones though, I mean sure you can get a cheap one by basically buying an older version but their devices are not cheap.

      I spent as much on an HTC Incredible when they launched as I did on the iPhone I was replacing.

      I don’t care which way the ITC rules myself, I just want everyone to stop suing everyone and creating war zones out of the tech sector. (Yeah I’m a dreamer lol)

      1. Then people will have to stop stealing. Once Android’s code gets totally rewritten to remove all the Java bits and the interface gets rewritten to remove all the interface conventions that Apple created, and the likes of Samsung actually creates their own hardware designs, we can all move forward.

  3. I hope the ITC recognizes that companies like Apple aren’t providing free R&D to other companies to copy or steal regardless of consumer competitive benefit. Windows Phone 7 is proof that competing phones can be designed without infringing on the iPhone, iPad, etc.. Companies like Shamstung intentionally prefer to copy to confuse the consumer and pretend they’re on a even playing field with competing Apple products. If they were designed differently they might not get away with it, also like Windows Phone 7 who has a rounding error for market share.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.