HTC phones do not infringe Apple patents, says UK judge

Summary:Apple has been defeated by HTC in a patent infringement suit at the U.K.'s High Court. But bad news for Apple as three of the four patents under the spotlight were deemed invalid.

HTC has won a U.K. High Court case after a judge said that the Taiwanese smartphone maker has not infringed four of Apple's European-held patents.

However, Judge Christopher Floyd said that three of the four patents were invalid, according to Bloomberg

The only patent that was ruled to be valid relates to Apple's photo-management software, but HTC did not infringe on it.

The other three invalid patents relate to Apple's multi-touch software, alphabet-changing software, and the iPhone and iPad's slide-to-unlock feature.

The same four patents are to be tested in a German court later this year. 

Apple is fighting HTC, and Korea-based Samsung on four continents in more than a dozen countries, including the United States.

As The Verge reports, the U.K. High Court ruling does not have any direct affect any other ongoing case outside the country. 

The ruling comes on an ordinary working day in Britain, despite our American cousins enjoying a day off to celebrate more than 230 years away from the cruel, heartless rule of the British monarchy.

It also comes only a few days after Apple saw an emergency request to U.S. International Trade Commission, which has the power to ban the import of phones to the country, to seek a U.S. Customs ban on HTC smartphones.

A HTC spokesperson said: "We remain disappointed that Apple continues to favour competition in the courtroom over competition in the marketplace," but was pleased with the ruling.

Apple had no additional statement beyond: "We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."

Apple did not say whether or not it would appeal the decision at the U.K. Court of Appeal.

Topics: Apple, HTC


Zack Whittaker is a writer-editor for ZDNet, and sister sites CNET and CBS News. He is based in the New York newsroom. His PGP key is: EB6CEEA5.

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