The US International Trade Commission (USITC) [official website] ruled on Monday that HTC [corporate website; JURIST news archive] could not use five patents that it obtained from Google [corporate website; JURIST news archive] last August in its case against Apple [corporate website; JURIST news archive]. Apple had argued that HTC did not obtain all necessary rights to the intellectual property from Google. The patents were transferred from Google to HTC to counter Apple's claim that HTC infringed several of Apple's patents and Apple's attempt to block HTC products to enter the US market. HTC plans to appeal Monday's decision.
In December, the USITC ruled in favor of Apple [JURIST report] in its claim against HTC for infringing its "data tapping" patents. A month earlier, the same agency found for Apple [JURIST report] and held that the company did not infringe HTC's patents it obtained from acquiring the subsidiary S3 Graphics Co. In August, HTC filed three patent complaints against Apple after the USITC ruled against HTC [JURIST reports] for patent infringement relating to cell phones that run the Android operating system (OS) in July. The conflict between the two companies arose after Apple initially filed suit [JURIST report] against HTC in the US District Court for the District of Delaware [official website] in March 2010 alleging that HTC infringed ten of Apple's patents including hardware designs, touch-screen interfaces and graphical user interfaces. Apple filed an additional suit with the USITC to bar HTC from importing its products to the US market. A second lawsuit was initiated by Apple in July last year when it filed a claim against HTC [JURIST report] with the USITC for patent infringement related to scrolling and touchscreen features.