HTC Can Continue Bringing Their Smartphones Into The U.S.

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HTC Corporation can continue bringing their newest smartphones into the U.S. while the U.S. International Trade Commission investigates whether the phones violate an order that HTC stops infringing an Apple patent.

The U.S. International Trade Commission instituted an investigation into Apple’s claim that HTC is continuing to infringe a patent that is in violation of an order that was issued in December. The ITC denied an emergency request to have HTC phones like the One X and EVO 4G LTE detained at the border.

HTC phones were held at the border in May, which delayed Sprint’s plans to sell the HTC EVO 4G.  HTC assured the U.S. Customs and Border Protection that they worked around Apple’s patent.

The patent in question is a system that detects telephone numbers in an e-mail so when the screen is tapped, it can be stored in a directory or call without dialing.  Apple filed a complaint last month that accuses HTC of making inaccurate representations to customs officials in order to bypass the import ban, known as an exclusion order.

“The commission finds that Apple has not demonstrated the propriety of temporary emergency action here,” said the ITC in a statement.  “The commission will not direct Customs to detain all subject HTC products because the commission does not have the information necessary to determine whether the respondents are currently violating the commission’s limited exclusion order.”

The case has been filed as In the Matter of Certain Personal Data and Mobile Communications Devices and Related Software, 337-710, U.S. International Trade Commission (Washington).

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