Apple to ITC: Can We Just Get a Ban on HTC’s Entire Handset Portfolio?
Apple CEO Tim Cook says the patent battles the company is mired in are a “pain in the ass.” But that distaste for litigation isn’t stopping Apple from suing those it feels have violated its IP or dragging them before the International Trade Commission.
Earlier this week, Apple filed a complaint against rival HTC with the ITC, its third in as many years. This one claims more than two dozen HTC devices are violating U.S. Patent No. 5,946,647 — a patent that HTC recently claimed to have worked around. In a May 29 statement, HTC said its One X and EVO 4G LTE were in compliance with an ITC ruling that found they infringed on Apple’s ’647 patent.
But in its new complaint to the ITC, Apple disputes that. It says the One X and EVO 4G LTE still infringe that patent. It further claims that there are 27 other HTC handsets that do so as well. And it wants the ITC to slap a limited exclusion order (LEO), or ban, on the importation of all of them. “Without such an express statement,” Apple said in its complaint, “HTC will continue to flout the terms of the LEO, which has caused and will continue to cause Apple to suffer substantial harm, and contravenes the public interest in enforcement of the commission’s LEO.”
The 29 HTC smartphones Apple’s taking issue with: The HTC Sensation, the HTC Sensation 4G, the HTC Wildfire, the HTC myTouch 4G, the HTC myTouch 4G Slide, the HTC Merge, the HTC Rezound, the HTC Rhyme, the HTC One X, the HTC One S, the HTC One V, the HTC Inspire 4G, the HTC Vivid, the HTC Status, the HTC Wildfire S, the HTC Hero, the HTC Hero S, the HTC EVO 4G LTE, the HTC Evo 4G, the HTC Evo V 4G, the HTC Evo Design 4G, the HTC Evo 3D, the HTC Amaze 4G, the HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE, the HTC ThunderBolt, the HTC Flyer, the Droid Incredible 2, the HTC Jetstream and the HTC EVO View 4G.
An unfortunate turn of events for HTC, which today lowered its second-quarter revenue forecast by 13.3 percent, citing weaker sales in Europe and, you guessed it, delays in getting some of its products into the U.S. Having two new handsets stopped by U.S. customs is one thing, having 29 is quite another. And if Apple prevails in its latest complaint to the ITC, that could be what happens.