updated 06:30 pm EST, Fri February 17, 2012
ITC final ruling says Apple innocent of HTC charge
The ITC in a new ruling (PDF) upheld its decision that Apple wasn't violating patents in HTC's original trade complaint. The conclusion followed a minor review and determined that Apple wasn't copying HTC's energy management and phone dialer technology. HTC can appeal the verdict, but may have trouble persuading the court.
HTC still has another dispute in progress, although it has yet to get an initial ruling. The complaint came in tandem with a civil lawsuit and borrowed from Google for help.
The Android partner's attempts at legal action in the US have mostly backfired. Apple's own ITC complaint found HTC in violation of some patents. HTC had tried buying S3 Graphics solely to have a company with a patent victory against Apple under its belt, only to watch as its win was overturned and it was left either having to terminate the deal or risk wasting $300 million.
HTC was one of Apple's earliest targets in a legal campaign that's widely considered a proxy war against Google in the belief Android was inherently copied from the iPhone. Whether a legitimate claim or not, the opponents have usually had few patents relative to Apple or have been trying to use standards-based patents in a way that may be deemed abusive. [via Florian Mueller]