Apple Inc. has finally won the closely watched patent war with the International Trade Commission importing a ban on HTC phones that infringed an Apple's patent, according to a report by Reuters.
Starting April 19, 2012, any HTC phones found violating the technology covered by Apple will be banned from import to the U.S. The deadline decided Monday gives HTC enough time for the wireless carrier to adapt its devices to comply with the decision. HTC may offer refurbished devices as replacements along with warranties and insurance plans.
The disputed patent '647 involves a finger-tapping technology that allows users to call a phone number that is written inside an e-mail or text message or even schedule appointments.
According to Reuters, HTC called the ruling a win and was gratified that the ITC did not rule in favor of all Apple patents in question. The company has promised to remove the features ruled stolen.
We are very pleased with the determination and we respect it. However, the '647 patent is a small UI experience and HTC will completely remove it from all of our phones soon, Grace Lei, HTC's general counsel said in a statement.
Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu said competitors should create and not steal technology.
The ruling was just a partial victory for Apple, who initially presented 10 patents that were subjected to infringement by HTC, out of which six where dropped from the case. ITC then ruled that HTC violated two of the remaining patents before narrowing down to just one that had been infringed.
The California-based Apple is involved with numerous patent disputes the world over with smartphone makers that run Android. Recently, Samsung has filed new claims against Apple over patent infringements in Germany.