Anyone who has heard Steve Jobs’ now-infamous thoughts on Android – specifically that bit about thermonuclear warfare – shouldn’t be surprised by the massive number of patent infringement lawsuits launched by Apple against the companies that manufacture Android phones. One of those lawsuits just bore fruit – the United States International Trade Commission has determined that HTC is guilty of patent infringement because of data-detection technology – supposedly, the bit that recognizes phone numbers in text and allows you to call them with one touch.
It’s unknown exactly which HTC phones will be affected, but in the original lawsuit, Apple included the Nexus One, Touch Pro, Diamond, Tilt II, Dream, myTouch, Hero, and Droid Eris. For those phones that are affected, no further shipments will be allowed into the United States. Units currently in stores can still be sold, and shipments of refurbished replacements for phones under warranty will be allowed. It doesn’t sound like HTC is overly concerned – a representative mentioned that the technology will be removed from all phones as soon as possible, so that import into the United States can continue.
Apple is far from done with its day in court – they have other lawsuits active against HTC and Samsung, though those companies have started counter-suing Apple for copyright infringements, as well. Looks like the smartphone and tablet markets aren’t going to be playing nice for a while.
Via the New York Times