Apple fails in bid for emergency import ban of HTC phones

iPhone maker accuses the Taiwan handset maker of continuing to infringe on one of its patents despite a court order to remove the feature.

Imports of HTC phones into the United States will continue after a U.S. judge denied Apple's request for a sales ban on the devices in an ongoing patent dispute between the companies.

The U.S. International Trade Commission launched an investigation on Sunday into Apple's claim that HTC was continuing to infringe on one of its patents in violation of a December order to cease. The ITC, a federal agency with the power to ban imports of devices found to infringe on U.S. patents, today rejected Apple's request for an emergency order banning the importation of the Taiwan handset maker's phones, including the One X and Evo 4G LTE.

"The commission finds that Apple has not demonstrated the propriety of temporary emergency action here," the ITC wrote, as quoted by Bloomberg. "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."

Imports of the One X and Evo 4G LTE were held up in May by U.S. Customs , which had to inspect the devices to ensure they were not infringing on Apple's patent. However, after a couple of weeks in limbo, the phones were slowly allowed to enter the U.S.

Apple had complained last month to the ITC that HTC made misleading statements to Customs officials about the devices to secure their importation.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

In December, the ITC ruled that HTC infringed on Apple's patent for "data tapping" techniques that automatically format documents to allow, for instance, a dialer program to pop up when a phone number appears.

The quasi-judicial body said in its ruling that it would impose an import ban on some of HTC's products if the feature wasn't removed by April 19, 2012. Immediately after that ruling, HTC announced it would soon remove the feature from "all of our phones."

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments