HTC has reportedly already engineered a workaround to sidestep a U.S. agency ruling that HTC infringed on one of Apple's patents.
The move became necessary after the International Trade Commission, a federal agency with the power to enforce bans on products shipping to the U.S., ruled yesterday that HTC infringed on Apple's patent for data detection. The process allows a mobile device to recognize things like e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and addresses in text and automatically move them to a calendar, dialer, or mapping application.
HTC Chief Executive Officer Peter Chou dismissed the feature, saying during a media briefing earlier today that "it's actually quite rarely used," Bloomberg reported. Chou went on to criticize the agency's decision: "This industry should not allow one company use its powerful weapon to stop other innovation and take it all...this is not fair," Reuters reported.
After yesterday's ITC ruling, HTC said it would remove that feature from "all of our phones" soon, likely meaning the ITC's ruling would have little practical effect.
Apple filed a complaint against HTC in March 2010, saying the Taiwan-based company violated 10 of its patents. In a preliminary ruling in June, an ITC administrative law judge found only two violations. Yesterday's ruling narrowed the violation to only one of the original 10 patents.