Apple did not infringe patented technology owned by HTC ,
the U.S. International Trade Commission said
the latest ruling in the smartphone patent wars.
The specific complaint is a proxy for the larger fight for
market share between Apple's products and Google's Android
software for cellphones and tablets, many of which HTC makes.
Taiwan-based HTC had filed a complaint in 2010 accusing Apple
of infringing five patents on technologies for power
management and phone dialing. It asked the ITC to bar some
versions of Apple's iPods, iPhones and iPads from being
imported into the United States.
In October 2011, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) made an
initial determination that identified no violation of four of
HTC's asserted patents. HTC had originally also asserted --
but meanwhile withdrawn -- a fifth patent.
HTC asked the Commission to review the ALJ's preliminary
ruling. In December, the Commission granted a review, but with
respect to only one of the patents. Today's ruling terminates
the investigation with respect to the sole remaining patent.
HTC could appeal the ITC's final decision to the Federal
"Specifically, the Commission has determined to reverse the
Administrative Law Judge's finding that the "switching the PDA
system from normal mode to sleep mode when the PDA system has
been idle for a second period of time" limitation of claim 1
(patent) is met and affirm the ALJ's determination that the
accused products do not meet the "implementing a power
detection method comprising steps of: detecting an amount of
power of a source in the power system; switching the mobile
phone system to off mode when the detected amount is less than
a first threshold; and switching the PDA system to off mode
when the detected amount is less than a second threshold"
limitations of claim 1," the Commission concluded.