HTC phones do not infringe Apple patents, says UK judge

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

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  • This is how the patent system works

    Patents are handed out for anyone who pays the small fee. There is nowhere near enough the manpower or expertise in the patent offices around the world to judge whether the patent that has been applied for is valid. So when people brag about how many patents their parents have, they just sound pathetic.

    It isn't until your patent is debated in a court of law that it is truly examined. Apple's patents were debated in a court of law. They were found invalid. They should never have been given out but they were because the patent system works the way I've outlined, no matter what certain people here think about how great their patent owning father is.
    • But it needs to be examined up front.

      The current model only benefits big business, or trolls.
    • I'm sure the patents from your employer

      Are equally invalid, that is why there's an NDA, and Microsoft refuses to publicly name the patents. The only question is: Do you work directly for Microsoft, or are you one of the "temp trolls"?
      Jumpin Jack Flash
  • Good

    I hope they get more of the same here in the USA!
  • Exactly

    If only that idiot judge in the nexus and galaxy case would've taken the time and really study the validity of those patents. She would have come to the same conclusion now because of her dumb ruling something as basic as universally searching on your phone infringes on that stupid patent. Really?
  • Can people purchase it?

    Well, now people can choose between an apple or htc phone. Choice always helps the consumer. While they would both to love to have a monopoly on the free market, it is always a victory for the consumer when they get to choose. This forces competition and allows for innovation.
  • Patents Tend To Collapse Under Repeated Use

    This is what happens when patent cases come to court: a lot of the patents turn out to be invalid. The more court cases there are involving a patent, the more likely this is to occur.

    Makes you wonder about the validity of patents in general, doesn't it?