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Apple Patent Halts HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE Shipments Onto US Soil, Trade Commission Begins Investigation

When you look through your message inbox and come across a phone number, your smartphone automatically turns those digits into a shortcut to the dialer. It’s a feature that we know is there, yet we most likely take it for granted since it has become the norm for our devices. Well, maybe not anymore. Yesterday, shipments into the United States of HTC’s One X and EVO 4G LTE have been indefinitely held up by the International Trade Commission to undergo inspection. Last December, the ITC ruled that HTC was violating the aforementioned patent which is owned by Apple and issued a “limited exclusion order” which went in effect April 19, making the import of devices using the patent prohibited.

Due to this investigation, HTC has issued a delay in the US release of these devices on both Sprint and AT&T, who currently list the device as “Out of Stock.” Sprint is still taking pre-orders for a launch that was intended for this Friday. According to new reports from the WSJ, HTC has said to have worked around the patent, but the ITC will still need to carry out their inspections. Unfortunately, as far as the public knows, there is no time frame set for when that will be concluded.

Via: The Verge | WSJ

  • Androidandwp7equalsPower

    Dear Apple,
    ……….(‘(….´…´… ¯~/’..’)

  • lbphoenix

    Now I’m sure that my 3 or 4 windows mobile phones all made before the iphone had this feature.

  • Thach

    Apple is a dick! I stop using iPhone since 3gs

    • Some Random Dude

      i stopped using iphone since i was born

  • spyro1154

    this is just another way of apple tryna stop android from expanding there doing all this patent shit cause they lose all there money to android devices. scared much apple?

  • eckdawg5

    For Sprint, this is a blessing in disguise. Sprint didn’t have the inventory to keep up with demand (as usual) and this will buy them some time. The Galaxy Nexus is constrained for them as well. Sprint is horrible at device launches.

  • teejaycard

    Dear God that’s dumb.

  • WilliamKingX17

    Apple has to be lobbying the ITC pretty damn hard about their so called revolutionary patents. I wonder how much money they’re funneling into the ITC? Hundreds of thousands? Millions? Whatever the amount it’s working like a charm.

  • Guys: as is pointed out in the article, the delays are mandated by the ITC based on the December verdict, not something that Apple suddenly brought in after the fact.

    You can dislike the verdict, you can trash the US patent system, but don’t pretend Apple is going around blocking each device as it ships. If anything, you should ask why HTC started shipping the Evo 4G LTE days before May 18 without any preparation to clear the phones through the exclusion order. It’s like showing up five minutes before a blockbuster movie’s first showing and wondering why it’s sold out.

  • jasdempsey

    I’m pretty sure that my Palm Treo had this feature, and that would certainly be prior art to the iPhone. I wonder when the patent was granted?

  • Alan Burnstine

    I still don’t see how Apple got this patent. Windows Mobile (Pocket PC Phone, and about 4 other names) was able to do this for years before the iPhone was a twinkle in Steve Job’s eye.


  • oh god why.

  • Apple has patented importing from China. We’re screwed.

  • Tony09

    What happened to Apple scaling back on their patent trolling? Oh that was only with Samsung because Samsung tablets aren’t serious threats to Apple. HTC makes a better phone than the 4S and now the trolling begins again.
    Nobody is mistaking the One X for an i*hone. And it’s for something they already sued for and HTC fixed! When will this ridiculous system be fixed?

    • Jeff Tycz

      you are an idiot, read the article they already won the injunction against HTC back in december before they made any agreement to back off. they are checking to make sure they fixed it

  • In other news, Ford sues Toyota for use of the steering wheel and door handle in its cars.

    I mean really though, why would the patent office issue a real patent for something like this? I guess Apple is going to patent the use of the numbers 0-9 on their phones, eh?

    • Josh Groff

      Motorola should sue Apple for using wireless signals to transmit calls/data/text.

      Patent wars are idiotic and just stifle competition and lead to worse products for consumers.

    • AnotherAndroidKid

      This is the exact issue. Crapple is doing what they’re allowed to to win.

      The fact this crap keeps getting issued is the amazingly stupid part.

  • sc0rch3d

    let’s just do away with patents altogether for awhile

    • Guest

      That would be interested.

      For 1 full year… no patents will be issued or enforced by anyone.

  • Am I wrong in thinking that Apple knows that HTC fixed their phones for the patent and that Apple is just flexing and essentially just messing with HTC because they can?

    • New_Guy


  • Matthew

    Just keeps going back to why I don’t buy Apple. But its also just as much of a problem with the patent system here and everywhere.

  • And this is why we hate Apple Fanboys.

    • Josh Groff

      This is why we hate Apple, we hate the fanboys because they worship Apple like gods.

    • There’s nothing wrong with Apple fans and their culture, just the business practices of their overlords 🙂

  • Apple…trolling the world into becoming sheep.
    Whether you like it or not.
    That’s certainly one way of dominating the market. Kudos, you jerks.

    • Josh Groff

      And to think I was going to buy an Evo LTE Friday. Well, I know one thing, if I had ever any intention of owning an Apple product, it’s gone now. So it’s the Nexus or waiting.

      • Dave

        Unfortunately, the Galaxy Nexus could suffer the same fate next month when Apple tries its hand at a preliminarily injunction against it using the same patent in question here (including three others). The fact that this patent was validated by ITC does not bold well for even stock Android devices unless it’s removed.

        • Josh Groff

          But that won’t affect me getting one this month.

          Also, Motorola had much more innovation on the cell phone front in general, and likely has patents to back much more major things than a phone number linking back to the dialer, so I doubt they’ll poke the sleeping bear and attack stock Android. Also, why would you attack something you rely on? (Google)

          I’d love to see Google remove all access from Apple devices to any of their services. (not something they’re likely to due because they’d lose a ton of revenue, but it would be beautiful)

          • Dave


          • Dave

            Apple, in essence, is indirectly attacking stock Android by going after the Galaxy Nexus, and it’s a smart move on their part. Should Apple win an injunction, Google wouldn’t necessarily have to comply with the courts since it’s really a case against Samsung, but Google would have to change ICS to exclude “linkify”, as it’s called, if they wanted the Galaxy Nexus to continue selling. They could just leave Samsung and the GNex in the dust, but that could sour their current partnerships which is just not good for business.

            While Moto provides a debatable shield against patent attacks, I still don’t think it’ll be enough to prevent Apple from continuing litigation. It’s going to be an ugly year in the mobile space and it sucks for us all.

  • Josh Groff

    Creative spam, nice.