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US trade commission clears Apple in HTC patent case

The US International Trade Commission (USITC) [official website] ruled [text, PDF] Monday for Apple [corporate website; Bloomberg backgrounder] on a patent complaint [JURIST report] brought by HTC [corporate website; Bloomberg backgrounder]. The USITC found that Apple had not violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 [PDF] by reasons of infringement of Patent Nos. 6,658,146, 6,683,978, 6,775,417 and 7,043,087 [texts]. These patents relate to HTC's recently acquired subsidiary S3 Graphics Co. The USITC ruling rejects the request to limit imports of MAC computers, the iPhone and the iPad. The decision also calls into question the rationale of the S3 acquisition [Bloomberg report] and could put pressure on HTC stock shares. HTC said it may challenge the ruling in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit [official website], which specializes in patent law.

In July, USITC ruled that HTC infringed two Apple patents [JURIST report] relating to the Android operating system. This ruling came days after Apple filed a complaint against Samsung [JURIST report] in an effort to bar importation of Samsung's smartphones and tablets. Apple claimed Samsung's "Galaxy" line copies its iPhone and iPad technology. This complaint came just weeks after Samsung filed a similar complaint [JURIST report] seeking to prevent Apple from importing iPads and iPhones. Samsung claimed Apple violated five patents also related to smartphones and tablets. In March 2010, Apple also filed suit against HTC [JURIST report] in the US District Court for the District of Delaware [official website] for 10 patents involving various areas of technology.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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