The United States International Trade Commission ruled that a set of vital features commonly found in smartphones are protected by an Apple patent and this decision could force changes in the functioning of Google’s Android phones.
The ruling of the federal agency seemed to be a landmark one in the growing series of patent battles that are being unfolded around the globe by nearly all of the juggernauts of the mobile industry. These clashes brings out the fiery competition among the companies in the market, especially with the increasing market share of Android phones.
HTC, the defendant in the case and a Taiwan-based mobile phone maker using the Android system, in a statement given after the ruling said that it would modify the features of the phone to adhere with the decision of the court. The company nicknamed the features as “small” parts of the user’s experience.
The current ruling came only as a partial victory for the maker of iPhones as the commission had overruled an earlier decision which was in favour of Apple concerning a different, and more technical patent as regards to how software is organized internally on mobile devices. Legal experts stated that it would have been hard for HTC to adapt its devices to avoid infringing that patent.
The decision could potentially affect far more phones than those made by HTC because the underlying target of the suit is Google, creator of the Android system that now powers more than half of all smartphones sold worldwide. Apple is suing several other makers of Android devices, as is Microsoft, and companies that make Android products are returning the favour in most instances through countersuits.
Report by Radhalakshmi R