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ITC Rules that HTC Infringes on Apple Patent, Devices Subject to Ban in April 2012

The ITC (International Trade Commission) has ruled today that HTC infringes on one of Apple’s patents and will face a ban on their products starting April 2012 here in the U.S. The patent in question has to do with formatted data that can be interacted with, such as a phone number in an email. That’s right, if you tap on a phone number through Gmail and it performs an action, you are infringing on an Apple patent.

HTC has already responded to the ruling, claiming that they have a workaround in place. There is no telling exactly what that will be, but today’s ruling would seem to put all Android phone manufacturers at risk. This is a native Android feature to my knowledge, so we will likely need Google to come up with a workaround themselves that can be applied to all Android phones.

It’s lame, but if Apple was truly the first company on Earth to make formatted info tap-able and has a patent for it, what can you do. We will all want to pay attention to the next couple of months though, as HTC and Google work to come up with some sort of fix. An April deadline has been set.

Via:  Engadget, BGR

  • So tapping a URL violates an Apple patent? Uhm.. excuse me but URLs and color links that perform an action such as opening a webpage, etc, have been around since the Internet has existed. Relating to something closer to this, in Windows, Skype automatically translates phone numbers into clickable links that will open the Skype dialer. Does this violate a “patent” too? -.-

  • Anonymous

    Go read the apple payent and see references to other payents, like sony’s payent, that were similar… You can modify/improve something that has a patent and get a patent. Thus a reference to ‘prior art.’ There were tablets prior to 1991 and 1996 that used stylus inputs… improve and patent-that is sll Apple did. Go READ the patent…

  • Just because you came up with a idea Apple doesn’t mean you own it. I have a feeling Google will show them the meaning of that saying soon.

  • Sam

    “It’s lame, but if Apple was truly the first company on Earth to make
    formatted info tap-able and has a patent for it, what can you do.”

    Apple was NOT the first to do this! A non-Apple piece of software called SideKick (from Borland International) had this feature in the 1980s…at least a decade before Apple obtained the patent. The U.S. has a clear prior art provision in its patent law so unless I’m missing something, this ruling is comical.

    More info on the SideKick feature: http://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/n4o93/i_have_found_preexisiting_features_in_1980s/

  • this is why patents are evil. 

  • This makes me a sad patent infringement panda.  This is everything that is wrong with the patent system.

  • Anonymous

    No one is going to be banned, anywhere.  The long and short of it is there will be drawn out legal battles, ultimately there will be a settlement, and we’ll all go on with our lives.  Some of us with iPhones, a lot more of us with Androids (there already are a lot more of us).

  • I know how they feel. i just lost a patent battle with apple as well. they say my soul is shaped too much like a rectangle. they suggested i give it a more cluttered design so as not to have it look like the iphone. now i’m sad.

  • Gunner42

    Apple will push its self out of contention in the market.  You can’t force people to buy your product.  I myself will never purchase an another apple product.

  • EricM

    I will NEVER be an Apple customer because of crap like this.

  • steve lucking

    I have never said this before, but I now HATE apple. They are money hungry [email protected] who are hell bent on finishing Steve Jobs mission to bring android down even though its been proven android was doing this 2 years before apple. I am glad i have never bought one of their overpriced lemming/sheep/personality-less products. 
    Go to H3ll apple.
    HTC…..make the number a swipe and your done…then you can tell apple to stick it.

  • Um, Microsoft was doing this FAR before Apple even dreamed of intering the smartphone market.  Screw them!!!

  • Anonymous

    First company on Earth to make formatted info tap-able?  Please.  They just managed to get a patent issued on it.  There’s probably over a hundred other similar patents out there.  These software patents are killing innovation and are harming consumers.  The patent office has the authority to address these issues, unfortunately they don’t have the balls.

  • this is so stupid, im pretty sure my phone from 2000 was able to save phone numbers and call people if they included it in a text message. WAAAAAY before Apple even considered a phone. total BS.

  • Rich

    Finally HTC can get the F out of here… This is saving a lot of head aches down the road… With those damn skins, and not getting updated and for the big security holes they have… Bout time…

  • Boy this is a really sad way to get ahead in an industry.  This is why I will probably never own an Apple Product.

  • cardi

    This is so lame nobody probally knew anybody had a patent i remember my windows phone doing and every android phone i owned of played with does it i could respect it more iv they wad suing everybody cause all touchscreen phones do it.

  • Anonymous

    phlpn.es/829r8s

  • Sbalsen

    Where to begin! The ITC ruling is, of course, beyond insane. It is contrary to the ITC purpose and destructive of true free market competition. The Apple patent would be similar to patenting a round knob to adjust volume on a TV or radio, or perhaps a remote control device to switch TV channels or control volume. Technology cannot advance without mimicking, adaptations and modifications of what came before. The ITC is the bad guy here, not Apple, though they are not totally guilt free either. I’m sure they have “borrowed” their share of other company’s technology.

    I’m ashamed to be a Apple Macintosh computer user.

  • Eddie

    There is prior art from the 1980s… The patent system is broken, there is NO WAY apple should have been granted such an obvious patent that also has prior art.
    http://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/n4o93/i_have_found_preexisiting_features_in_1980s/

  • Doan

    I’m really starting to hate Apple.  They have great products, but Apple are dicks.

  • GCurry

    I guess Apply invented hypertext, hyperlinks, eh?

  • A couple of things:
    1. This only applies to devices Android OS 2.2 and Below.
    2. I already talked to HTC about it, according to what the guy said, their designers have alternate solutions for the patents and they will have them fixed before April 2012. 
    3. Even if the phones DO get banned and you own one of these phones, you would still be able to use your warranty and get a replacement

  • Anonymous

    IT ONLY APPLIES TO DEVICES RUNNING FROYO OR OLDER VERSIONS OF ANDROID.

    Did someone forget to mention that ^^ and that, as a result, HTC will hardly be affected? Do they sell/ship any phones running Android 2.2 or older? NO.

  • Insert obligatory “I’d tap that” comment here.

  • Anonymous

    Why does only HTC violate this? Isn’t this a feature included within the stock Gmail app?

  • Apple is guilty of the number #1 rule of and sprinter…never look over at the guy next to you in a race.  Keep your eyes on the finish line.  Google’s looking forward.  The winner is obvious here.

  • Iankellogg

    There are so many prior art examples of their patent that is just pathetic. You could take just about any business software from the late 80s or 90s and it would have the exact feature described in the patent.

  • Phone with more GBs.

    Meh. Apple is still going to die in a fire. Let them piss on the flames if they think that it will help.

  • Granny Smith suing Apple over use of logo … 

  • Anonymous

    Its interesting to read this since ios5 has the “drop down notification bar” that got that from hmm…? I guess there next ios update will have long press actions and widgets on the homescreen.

  • I’m in the process of patenting breathing…

  • Freddy

    pathetic ignorant aSheep

  • Freddy

    Apple is the greatest company ever

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  • Eddie Sprouse

    Why do companies continue to do this. I don’t care which company starts these types of fights what matters to me as a consumer is one company wants to take away something that benefits me and as far as I can see isn’t going to cause Apple any pain if it was just left alone. I could see if they were coping iPone function for function. But a tap-able link? All Apple is saying to me is they don’t care about how this effects me. 

    • Stereopc

      +1
      I agree, they just don’t care. I want to know the real reason they are doing this. They can’t think I (consumers) will switch to an iphone if they are the only phone I can get with clickable phone numbers. And what about new releases of Android, does it affect it at all? From what I have been reading a phone like my Galaxy Nexus isn’t effected at all. So, again, what will apple gain?

  • Anonymous

    “tapping that violates a patent.” i tapped apple’s mother and so far i havent been sued for any patent violations yet so….

    • Monty Waggoner

      Maybe Google needs to also. 

  • ViciousKing1914

    This patent war is getting out of control. It’s a smart phone with web capabilities. It’s like sending a hyperlink from desktop to desktop. I’m going to start suing randoms for stupid stuff……..like sharing information through speech.

  • Anonymous

    That’s funny, because it works better on android than it does on any iOS product. 

  • Anonymous

    This could affect a lot more than clickable numbers, this patent looks like it covers any data that is auto-reconfigured. 

    This is such a bummer to see Apple doing this to the industry.  They could really harm the future of operating systems based off their ridiculous patents.  

    The sad thing is the people that are in charge of governing these issues have no clue about technology, a poll recently showed 53% of our congress can’t send their own emails let alone make decisions on patent infringement.  

    • Blootzm3

      don’t worry, all these law suits by phapple hold no real value. as phapple spends money and time on frivolous lawsuits for patents that existed pre apple; droid does spend time and money on inovation and new tech for apple to feed off and imitate then call it theirs and the whole patent law suits start all over again, pushing android tech further and apple behind dragging. OWNING AN APPLE PRODUCT IS LIKE DRIVING A REALY NICE LOOKING BUCKET, NO MATTER HOW NICE IT LOOKS YOUR STILL DRIVING A REALY NICE LOOKING BUCKET..

  • Mark Lordi

    This is just plain ridiculous. Apple likes to claim they are a company about innovation yet they are going to pull stupid tactics like this when they themselves are known to just straight steal ideas. For example just about every new feature they implemented in iOS 5. This is why I have such a hard time buying their proprietary garbage products! 

  • Anonymous

    Every time I see someone with an iphone or ipad I feel like beating them to a pulp with a bat. Is this bad?

  • Fred Alfonzo

    If you can’t beat them ban them

  • Fred Alfonzo

    Maybe Google should ,mess with Apple and buy a patent that even the fruity company didnt think of. Google should buy a patent on the use of a battery. I’m a little curious as to what Apple will do then. If Apple can get away with putting a patent on something that every smartphone has and even every computer for years before the iphone was invented then I dont see why Google cant patent the use of a battery.

    • Monty Waggoner

      Apple probably has that one already.

  • Captain

    It takes Apple a year to come out with a new model.  It takes (enter random Droid device maker) 3 months.  All Apple can do, tech wise, is just try to keep up with the Speed that Android Devices are being pumped out.  Apple doesnt know how to handle competition in an open market.  All they do is try to compete via lawsuits, and not releasing anything that is innovative or awesome in the Smart Device market and just stagnate.  Releasing an on par device or operating system which was almost outdated the month before by the most recent release from Asus, Motorola, Samsung, etc.  Its not that important though, since Google will come out with a feature that is more relevant in our society than a feature that was used back in the 90s.  

    The funny thing is that all these lawsuits will do is force Google, et al. to focus their development in this decade.  Leaving Apple with a bunch of features that looked nice in a Windows 95 environment. 

    Apple will loose this battle.  Their entire existence has been with them holding a niche market.  Even having a competitor bail them out at one time just to keep some sort of competition alive.   Apple has never competed well when faced with true competition.  Now that they are, they will show their stripes again and slink away.  

    • Anonymous

      Amen

    • Stereopc

      Apple is the new Palm …….

  • Big Chris

    How in the hell is that Google or whoever doesn’t do anything about the pull down notifications apple has shamelessly taken from android? 

  • Carlos

    What does the patent say, one click, double click, long click or all. Maybe one click and one long click followed by flipping a  birdie  at Apple will be enough.

  • Apple is losing ground and cheap shots is their answer. iPhone 4s is the biggest joke yet. They used to be cutting edge, now their just cutting. 

  • Anonymous

    Apple grasping at straws to stay relevant. It’s ok Apple, folks who love your products will continue to love them no matter how outnumbered or outgunned you are. Think of it this way, you get to be in a clique again. Now your overpriced products will once again be carried by the technology challenged folks. Much like those who complain that a mouse only needs one button.

  • Anonymous

    my roomate’s mom makes $79 hourly on the laptop. She has been fired from work for 5 months but last month her paycheck was $7657 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more here…chilp.it/30a9c3

  • Mustagme

    Score one for the good guys!

    • Scott Webber

      Anyone who supports software patent lawsuits is NOT one of the good guys. This is a disgrace against the world we live in.  These guys all need to end their battles and let the consumers win.

      • Doan

        Software patent lawsuits actually do have their place; but this is not it.

  • 3 words, F U Apple

  • April 2012, are carriers event going to be selling the phones this effects by then?

  • Fred Alfonzo

    Im going to pull an Apple move and buy a patent on circular wheels. I’d love to see what car companies do then.

    • TC Infantino

      Sorry, I already have a patent on any mechanical device that can transport a person in a generally forward motion.  I believe that Apple has been following my example and getting patents for such technical generalities as this, and now believes that they can cash in on them since they are falling behind in actually making anything competative.

  • Anonymous

    Hey, my Treo 650 could do that before 2006…  How doesn’t ‘prior art’ work?

    • It doesn’t work because the patent is from 1996 — your Treo did it 10 years too late.

    • Anonymous

      Owned….

  • Google can’t get a hold of those Moto Mobility patents fast enough.  Time to go on offense Google!!!!!

  • Freddy

    long live Apple.

    • Anonymous

      ….and death to you

    • Are you really this stupid?

  • Freddy

    Yea, get those bad boys.

  • You know, four years ago, I had a friend who bragged that his old Samsung Alias could do that… and it was an old flip-phone.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t care how good their stuff is actions like this not gonna fly with me…. I will not buy another apple product until they stop this.. I just ordered a new hard drive for my zune. I love competition not this “sugar in the gas tank before a race” approach.

  • Anonymous

    Apple can kiss my ass.

    • Freddy

      u can lick mine

      • DarkKnight’s Butt Plug

        Well, remove the pecker from it first then.

        • Artiste

          LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Fred Alfonzo

    What HTC should do is remove it from all their phones. But secretly hire a hacker to release a patch for rooted users that allows them to install the feature back onto their phones. so then it won’t look like HTC did it. instead it would just be a random person. and then HTC would have to allow rooting so everyone can do it. which unfortunately wouldnt happen.

  • Fred Alfonzo

    I promise you that if Android is truly banned from this country because of a stupid Apple patant then I will go back to using flip phones before I even think of buying an Iphone. I’d even use one of those brick phones from the 1980’s before I buy an Iphone.

    • Anonymous

      I swear I would do the exact same..   +1, sir.

    • Anonymous

      Back to BlackBerry

    • Anonymous

      The only thing I would be willing to do with a brick phone at this point is to throw it at the large APPLE store windows in an attempt to smash them 🙂
      This patient is ludicrous and the Gov’t should address the issue with streamlining the patient invalidation process. If you can show prior art , the case should be dismissed within days.

    • Elliot323

      Windows Mobile 7, I’ll never support that Satanic organization

  • Mack

    Could anyone imagine what it would be like if car companies behaved like apple? There would be lawsuits over other company’s use of round steering wheels and seats for the driver and passengers. 

    • Tyler Cameron

      Sounds like you’ve seen Pirates of Silicon Valley(:

  • Anonymous

    “It’s lame, but if Apple was truly the first company on Earth to make
    formatted info tap-able and has a patent for it, what can you do.”

    Except they weren’t and thats kinda the point.

  • Daniel Archibald33

    Apple believes that they are gods gift to men

    • Chris G

      No. Apple is god’s gift to motherinlaws and other unknowing lemmings.

      Apple has its place. For those who are too stupid to know the difference.

      • Fred Alfonzo

        I’m confused. Wasn’t apple the fruit that Eve took a bite out of instead of Adam which is the reason why women have babies instead of men? So in a way apple is gods gift to men. Its because of apple that men dont have to give birth.

        • Thebruce44

          I’m not religious but you just totally butchered Genesis. God punished women by making child bearing painful. Men were never going to give birth. You must have asked Siri to explain the Garden of Eden to you but couldn’t wait for the 3g data to explain it to you.

          • Blootzm3

            lol iphan boy’s are idiots. they believe anything siri tells them without due research. siri came to be to compete with androids voice search. my og droid did that before siri came out. thats that magnifying glass button on the far right does when you hold it down and tell droid to do something. old news siri. in fact thats a form and function apple should get sued for.

          • Fred Alfonzo

            “Unto the woman He said: ‘I will greatly multiply thy pain and thy travail; in pain thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” thats a direct quote from the bible. I thought you should see that by eating the apple God did punish women by making women give birth. I get that you aren’t religious which is why you didn’t fully understand. And ‘m also NOT an apple fan.

          • Anonymous

            and yet you insist that it was an “apple” she ate.  I am also not an apple fan

          • Anonymous

            You are, however, incorrect. Adam ate the forbidden fruit (the so called apple) and Eve’s punishment for providing it to him to eat was pain during child birth.

          • Anonymous

            I did understand. You seem to not see the word “multiply” in multiply thy pain.

          • Chad Ramey

            if only i could like 10000000 times

          • Delreco Harris

            I’m at work crying laughing!

  • Daniel Archibald33

    Apple needs to be happy with what they have and stop sueing everybody for stupid reasons. They cant handle the fact that android is now outselling them. they have to be the No 1 company in mobility. Apple died with steve jobs

    • No, this IS Job’s legacy.  He was a ruthless businessman.  These lawsuits started under his leadership, not after.

      • Guest

        As Steve Jobs stated (summarized) that he will spend every last penny of company’s money to get rid of android!

        • TC Infantino

          Dear God I hope so.  How sweet would it be if Apple made a crusade out of attacking Android…and spent so much in that crusade that they finally went bankrupt.  With the final outcome being that Android not only survives but flourishes as the public becomes more and more aware that Apple has a rotten core.

    • Fred Alfonzo

      no apple died long before steve jobs. they are just too selfish to understand that.

      • Anonymous

        It’s Steve Jobs fault apple sucks now. Good Riddance to him.

  • Anonymous

    some prior art that is obviously almost the exact same thing particularly the last one
    http://www.quora.com/What-prior-art-is-there-that-could-invalidate-Apples-647-Patent

  • Irrational Man

    The more I read about Apple, the douchebaggier they get.

  • Anonymous

    The sooner Apple disappear the better. Done nothing but steal ideas and patent troll for years.

  • Pennywise

    Can grocery stores even sell “Apple”s anymore?

    • I’ve seen an alternate spelling of “papple” in a few places now… I think they are just preparing.

    • Nice

  • ds

    Don’t they need patten touch screen to do this?  Formatted data has been existed from the beginning.  Only difference is tapping instead of clicking.. is this being what they call “innovative?”

  • Joey

    FU apple. GTFO!

  • Anonymous

    Gotcha!

  • Anonymous

    …I’m pretty sure my Blackberry did that a few years ago…

    • Did it do it before 1996? A few years ago is not good enough.

  • Tkampka

    Please google, just buy apple and put them out of there misery once and for all! I’m sick and tired of there bull!

    • Stating El Obvious

      LOL…Google couldn’t afford Apple if they tried…

      • Havoc70

        Why would Google even want Crapple? Maybe to shut down their stupidity but otherwise it would be a waste of a great companies (Googles) time to buy such a POS

        • Fred Alfonzo

          I’d pay anything less then $100 billion to buy apple. just to throw it all away and get rid of the entire apple company. if I had that kind of money.

          • DowJones

            Great story. Too bad Apple is worth nearly 400 billion

          • Fred Alfonzo

            idc. lol. I just gave a random number. if I had that much money then I’d buy Apple but i wouldn’t throw away a $400 billion company. I’d take their patents first and then connect it with google

          • Brian Winning Jr.

            Google may have less net worth, but they could easily overtake apple in a patent war, however there policy of not being evil prevents them from doing so. They don’t sue only defend, how suck ass is that

          • DowJones

            You don’t actually believe this do you? Hahahaha. Talk about a sheep. 

          • Anthony Armando

            google has never sued anyone over patent infringement. they didnt even say anything when a bing search would show exact results from google search.

          • bluegrass

            they just gave HTC patents to sue Apple with.

            http://goo.gl/UhqdD

          • Anonymous

            Apple’s worth a little over 300 Billion, Google a little over 200 Billion, lets not make it sound like they’re that far apart.  

      • sadly hes true

      • Blootzm3

        around the limited violation.”

        The analyst says HTC told him several months ago that they have a work around ready to ship for this patent. “Our own layman assessment of the feasibility of such a work around is also very straight forward: it is very easy, best proof being that Blackberry users have been able to call a number {that is] part of the body of an email since before the iPhone existed,” he writes. “We therefore firmly believe this ruling will represent absolutely no disruption at all to HTC’s business in the U.S.”

        Adds Ferragu: “Many observers will hastily claim this is a victory for Apple, we believe the exact contrary. HTC and Android won this first battle. This ruling is very disappointing to the Cupertino firm, in the sense that only 2 claims relating to only one patent have been recognized as true by the ITC, out of dozens relating to 10 patents that formed the initial filling of Apple. It is also disappointing in the sense that it won’t disrupt at all, at least in our analysis, HTC’s and Android’s business.”

        The ruling, he contends, is “much ado for nothing.”

        • Blootzm3

          unlike how apple knowingly stole real radio tech from Motorola, not some weak form and function which apple is sueing eveyone on.

    • Fred Alfonzo

      I bought an apple the other day. and it only cost me a few cents. 

      • DWM

        And you still overpaid for it.

    • DArkKnight

      Hahahaha. Google buy Apple? Hahaha, you do know that Apple is worth twice as much as Google right? And they say Android lovers are smart. LMAO

      • Fred Alfonzo

        maybe you missed the joke? lol. it doesn’t matter if Google was worth ten times as much as apple. apple would never allow their biggest enemy to buy their entire company. It doesn’t seem like you are smart either. lmao

        • DArkKnight

          Oh my bad. I always thought jokes were supposed to be funny.

          • Fred Alfonzo

            thats what most people call a bad joke. A bad joke is a joke that isn’t funny. But I actually found it a little funny. Thats probably because I understood it. You see? the joke will only be funny to those that understand what he was saying. I doubt he meant for it to be a joke but thats what it seems like. and I still agree with him that google should put the fruity company out of business.

      • Blootzm3

        a lot smarter than you…. by forbes mag, google net worth is 190 billion, apple 210 bill do the mth, thats not double. you need to read more.

        • DarkKnight’s Butt Plug

          He’s Apple’s target customer! Lol!

  • Rocko

    Wow… Just WOW. SMH at Apple. They Probably think they invented the wheel

    • Darthseph23

      They did… remember the Click-wheel…. lol

      Sorry… I had to… you set it up!

    • Anonymous

      no they invented the iSpin… It’s an ultra innovative formed rubber object that is attached to an axle and spins as if by magic 

      • Alexanderkingtickle

        you have to wait for the 2nd generation to be able to roll backwards

        • Anonymous

          The S model roughs the rubber object into a round object, allowing for more efficient rolling.

        • This comment made my night.

    • Anonymous

      They really do believe they invented the click wheel.

  • Anonymous

    Why aren’t they suing RIM, they do it too. All smartphones do. God I hate Apple.

    • Anonymous

      or gmail or skype or practically everything else hell what about hyperlinks… pretty sure that is formatted data…. that is tap able.. 

      • The patent is for technology that recognizes plain text based on its formatting and allows actions on that text (as in, you simply type in a phone number and it recognizes it as such on its own). Therefore, a hyperlink does not apply, since it is hypertext, and the actions are pre-defined. With that said, I also agree that this is wrong. Unfortunately, the US Patent Office was very fast and loose with early technology patents before any of this stuff was significant, and now that are fully legally binding.

        • WAldenIV

          No, they can be disallowed. 

          • Right. Juts like laws can be overturned, and so on. But there is a long legal process to do so. My point is, we can’t just take all those tech patents issued in the 90s and void them for being too general. I am not saying it’s a lost cause, I’m just explaining that this patent has all its legal ramifications, even though now it’s not really “technology” and everyone uses text recognition (even I do it in my software).

          • This is so stupid! The patent system may have worked out well in the 60s, 70s, and 80s but now that we have moved into the era where technology is advancing at such as fast rate, patents cant be trusted anymore. Its not who actually comes up with the idea, its the first one to submit the idea and hope that someone tries to copy it one day. I’m not sure if Apple came up with the idea, but they were the first ones to start the process so hats off to them for being the early bird. But if they were going to make patents on miniscule things like “hypertext”, why didn’t they patent things like the home screen, or “apps” in general, or something more restricting to rival companies? It just seems like they were fishing for future investments for copyright infringement….prics

        • Anonymous

          yes once they become hyperlinks their actions are defined. But almost every major word application, gmail, and practically everything in between will let you type a web address and it will automatically “detect structures in the data, and links relevant actions to the detected structures” in this cast turn it into a hyperlink which opens in your preferred web browser…. that is quoted from the official patent and that action has been around since before word 97 the patent was applied for in 1999 so therefore prior art exists…

          • It was actually filed February 1, 1996. It was approved in 1999, but that date doesn’t matter. Also, that’s programmatically incorrect, but I do agree with your major point — that is, that everyone is doing it, myself included. However, Apple has to determine who they can sue: they can’t sue me because I cannot possibly pay them anything, and they can’t sue Google because Apple is infringing on plenty of Google’s patents (same reason Google can’t directly sue Apple either). HTC, however, is very vulnerable, specifically due to Android licensing, where OEMs are their own entity.

    • because RIM is not a threat anymore

      • Anonymous

        End of argument. Lol.

  • Azndan4

    This is what we call a frviolous lawsuit.

    • Anonymous

      Very much so. Every phone maker and OS has this capability. Screw apple…seriously.

    • TC Infantino

      No, not frivolous at all, more like an act of desperation of a company that sees itself possibly becoming outdated and unable to compete.  Look at Kodak and their use of patents to continue to bring in revenue while they scramble to make something that will give them profits.  I just see this as another step towards Apple becoming a small niche company.

  • Anonymous

    Simple solution that HTC is planning on doing? Just remove the damn feature, while giving Apple the finger. Screw you Apple.

  • Affects Android 2.2 and below, not a problem at all.

    • Anonymous

      Please explain, I was under the impression that this is on all phones up to ICS?

      • According to The Verge’s update, the judgement doesn’t affect existing devices, and HTC’s going to work around the patent in future devices with some fixes they’re putting in place. I will revise my original comment slightly, but the point is it’s not a big deal.

        • Anonymous

          You don’t have to revise anything, I was just wondering if their was something I didn’t hear about. It should be interesting how far this goes.

          • Actually, I did, but that’s because The Verge revised their analysis and removed that 2.2 bit.

      • Also, remember that ban in Germany against the Galaxy Tab. Well, that didn’t actually “ban” the item in the absolute sense of the word. There were some further import regulations, which Samsung could easily work around. With HTC being in Taiwan, there are international trade implications (though not as good as if they were Korean). The US cannot just ban international products willy-nilly (the US government made sure of that, and now it’s their own fault).

  • -____-

  • NEXUS

    This is why I never eat apples

    • Anonymous

       I actually lol’d.

  • -= )v(urphy =-

    Apple is such a pain in my rectum.

  • Jason Purp

    Oh for f*ck’s sake.

  • If you can’t beat them with technology, beat them with lawyers…

    • IHeartiOS

      Uummmm Apple is beating them with technology. They developed the technology and then patented it. Does it offend you that a company would want to get a patent for the technology that they developed? You know Google owns patents too right? Yet you don’t see Apple infringing on those patents.

      • WAldenIV

        This is why we need a significant overhaul of the patent system. This patent should never have been granted, it’s far too obvious. Clickable items existed long before Apple’s patent. Companies are more interested in claiming IP space than in truly innovating. Franklin is probably rolling over in his grave.

        • DowJones

          Read the patent. It is not “clickable items” it is the technology to scan for things and convert them into clickable items. This is not simply hyperlinks. 

          • Yet a hyper link is using the same principle and idea behind it. Our patent system is pathetic.

          • Anonymous

            Basic text parsing and regular expressions are like the first thing you do in the first year’s first programming class. Don’t pretend this is anything beyond incredibly basic _foundational_ knowledge at work. It’s completely lacking in novelty and fails even the most generous definitions of patentability.

          • Anonymous

            Which is why no one else had the audacity to patent it.  Only Apple would take common everyday things and attempt to patent them.  And the Walmart greeters turned patent office officials are granting them these patents one right after the other.  Pretty soon patents will prove that it was indeed Apple that invented cellular technology, mobile phones, 4G, 3G, Edge, CDMA, etc.

          • My Palm m105 does that.

          • Doan

            Have you not seen advertisements in random blogs/news posts that are scanned and converted into clickable ads?  The words in the articles were obviously not designed as hyperlinks, initially.

          • Anonymous

            Intelligent hyperlinks based on content.  So I guess the find engine in programs that highlight results violates this patent too.  Apple is a pathetic excuse for the patent system.  Next up:  Apple patents on/off switches on smart phones and tablets. 

            The new Apple symbol is the Apple, turned red, with horns on the sides.  And what do you know, when Apple is put next to Microsoft, suddenly Microsoft has wings and a halo.

      • pulldown notifications?

        • Anonymous

          SBSettings for cydia was using pulldown notifications in iOS before android even came out

          •  highly doubt that android and google got it from sb settings in cydia

      • Guest

        My old dumb Motorola flip phone which came out way before the iPhone, used to convert text numbers to phone numbers in text messages. How was this patent awarded to Apple?

        • Jason Purp

          Because f*ck you, that’s why!

      • Blootzm3

        actualy your wrong… the ban of all apple products in australia and germany then soon to be america, due to the fact that apple knowingly stole radio technology( http://www.themusicvoid.com/2011/12/could-the-tide-be-turning-against-apple/). The result is apple has to pay Motorola a hefty fine for every apple phone ever made, and ipad ever made, and find a way to build a workaround on new products, and either replace the radios on all apple products already sold, wich is not going to happen or give Motorola their paid dues on all products sold to date, about a couple billion dollars. =’s apple posible bankrupcy.

        • I seriously hope it hurts them, I used to respect apple for their design. Now I’m appalled by their actions. They never could win the desktop wars, so they’re damned sure going to try to win the mobile wars one way or another.

      • Dmb1517

        You’re right. Skype never scanned all of my webpages to link any phone numbers to make internet calls before the iphone came along… oh, wait.

        • bluegrass

          the patent in question is from 1999, which predates Skype by 4 years…

      • TC Infantino

        Oh?  I am not completely sure if there is a patent on notification design, but if you have ever checked out the Android notification system you will notice that the pull down notifications that Apple touts as a great update to their iOS 5 has been in Android from almost the beginning.  As I said, not sure if Apple is infringing on a specific patent, but don’t jump on your high horse and say that Apple doesn’t outright copy others ideas.

        • Emilio Figueroa

          That would be infringement if Google hadn’t made everything they made (on Android) under an open-source licence. 

          • Urwrong

            Just because it’s open source doesn’t mean you can steal it.

          • Jarred Sutherland

            I hope you feel the same way about pirating software/music/movies/etc. 

          • Emilio Figueroa

            Being open-source means that it’s not stealing because they specifically say that it’s okay to modify or change anything about Android, like what the Nook and Kindle Fire have done.  HTC for instance can take the OS and do what ever they want with it because Google deems it okay for anyone to do so. 

          • You are correct, but you still must call it Android. You cant change a few things and call it IOS 5 and then sell it.

          • Emilio Figueroa

            That’s true, but then now I’m wondering what difference is this situation to the one such as the Kindle Fire that give no public notice that its base is Android.

          • Anonymous

            “Open Source” doesn’t mean “free.”  And, it is a license.  It’s there to protect intellectual property.

          • Emilio Figueroa

            It may not mean free, but it’s free to use, that’s the whole point of the open-source licence. If Google has a patent for their notification system, they open-sourced it. Apple can still use it, they just can’t try to patent it for soles their use. 

          • Anonymous

            The patents are not inherently related to the license. Android/Google uses the GNU General Public License, mot all “open source” software uses this same license.  Linux (which at the core is what Android is) and every version of Linux out there uses it.  The “free” that everyone speaks of when talking about open source means freedom of use while acknowledging the intellectual property of the originator, not free as in price or value.  Patents represent ideas and every patent ever awarded is available to the public to view.  The fact that Android/Google chooses to use a patent in a software that is open source has nothing to do with who can view or use said patent.  Google could come out with a software tomorrow that isn’t open source and still use that same patent if they wanted.  By contrast, Apple could build a product tomorrow and use the same patent, as long as they acknowledged it and compensated Google for it.  But what everyone is suing about is they are all saying they stole each other’s ideas and they aren’t being compensated by that.  Apple was just the 1st one to take it one more step and try to get other products banned for the infringement.  HTC and other companies just have to take the same tactic now because Apple brought it to this new level.  They were all playing with knives, but Apple pulled a gun, so everyone else has to go get their guns too.

          • Emilio Figueroa

            Oh, yeah, I know that. I was just saying that as long Apple gives credit and compensation to Google for using their patents. I completely agree that Apple is pulling their guns here and then turning around and being a hypocrite. It’s completely ridiculous if you ask me. The companies should battle it out over the phone instead of wasting millions in court fees that we will ultimately have to pay for. 

      • This isn’t technology. It’s an idea – A BASIC one, at that.

      • Sam

        No. Apple did not develop the technology. Software from a decade earlier called “SideKick” by Borland International was utilizing this feature.

      • I know I’m a bit late to this posting. For you to say Apple is beating them with technology is a false statement. They did not invent that technology to scan for things and convert them into clickable items. Apple patented their own version of the tech as did all others of mobile OS’s devs. If they sue HTC the need to sue everyone. Apple is just getting scared of all the open OS devs. They have no clue what to do not that there newest phone is still years behind everyone else. 

    • Apple is going to come up with a .99 app in Android Market that we will all have to buy to use the tap on phone number option in mail and text as a licensing fee.  Rotten Apple has lost the phone wars and is down to the last tactics to squeeze every last cent it can get.

      Well at least apple still has mac book pros and tablets to fall back on, and their appstore which has no free apps, or music, etc