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U.K. victory may give HTC leverage in other cases: agency

2012/07/05 19:43:00

Taipei, July 5 (CNA) The litigation victory secured by smartphone vendor HTC Corp. over rival Apple Inc. in a United Kingdom court may help the Taiwanese company in its other patent cases in Europe, Taiwan's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) said Thursday.

England's High Court of Justice ruled Wednesday that HTC had not infringed on the patents involving touchscreen technology, as Apple claimed.

The ruling in favor of HTC would carry weight in other European courts, as judges in the U.K. tend to use strict standards to hear patent disputes and their judgments are therefore likely to be respected in other European countries, the IPO said.

The government agency said that particular ruling sets a good precedent for HTC’s other patent disputes in Europe. The same four patents are being contested by Apple and HTC in Germany, where the case is scheduled to begin later this year.

The British court found that three of the four patents claimed by Apple were invalid. The three patents involved the slide to lock feature, the multi-touch function, and the multilingual keyboard capability.

Although Apple's patent in photo management was valid, HTC did not infringe on the technology, the court ruled.

In a statement, HTC said it was delighted by the ruling. The decision "provides further confirmation that Apple's claims against HTC are without merit," the Taiwanese company said.

Earlier, the U.S. International Trade Commission rejected an emergency request by Apple to detain shipments of HTC phones, including the One X and EVO 4G LTE, at U.S. borders.

The USITC allowed HTC to ship some of its latest smartphones into the U.S. market, while an investigation is being carried out to determine whether the Taiwanese firm had violated an order by the commission to stop infringing on Apple's patents.

(By Stancy Wu and Frances Huang)
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