updated 11:55 am EDT, Thu April 1, 2010
ITC says will see if HTC violates Apple patents
The International Trade Commission on Thursday said it would look into Apple's complaint against HTC. It agreed to see whether HTC's phones might violate iPhone patents relating to hardware and software. A decision against HTC could see some or all of its phones blocked from import into the US until it resolved the dispute with Apple.
Officials at the US agency have 45 days to set a target date for when the investigation should complete. It hasn't provided an early estimate, but most such cases often take several months or more. Any decision would take effect within about 60 days.
Apple has publicly accused HTC of copying the iPhone's design, but many have already argued that HTC is ultimately a proxy target in a conflict with Google. By blocking HTC sales, Apple would cut out significant business for one of Android's most important partners. Some of the phones subject to the lawsuit are Windows Mobile devices, however.