When Steve Jobs claimed that Google “stole” Apple’s innovation, today, the United States Trade Commission (ITC) agreed and all those HTC infringing products are banned from the US. This rule applies to several popular HTC products including Evo 4G, Droid Incredible, G2, etc. The rule applies to all Android HTC devices running 1.6 to 2.2 in the United States effective April 2012.
Before reading all those long pages of patents and infringements, here is the main ‘copycat’ reason. CNN Fortune took an in-depth review of this patent and according to them, it works like this –
When an iPhone receives a message that contains a phone number or an address — e-mail, Web or street — those bits of data are automatically highlighted, underlined and turned into clickable links.
Click on the phone number, and the iPhone asks if you want to dial it. Click on the Web address, and it opens in Safari. Click on the street address, and Maps will display it.
Any Android phone will do the same.
The Verge also points out that this exclusion orders are generally broadly worded and aren’t limited to any specific products, so all new devices running Android 2.3, 3.0, 4.0 could also come into this category. Also, the post updates HTC’s response saying that Apple’s patent covers only a small UI experience and HTC soon will remove this feature soon. This is not that easy as any change would have to first be held compatible with Android by Google and then approved and pushed to customers by HTC’s carrier partners.
For its part, Apple just repeated its previous statements on the case:
We think competition is healthy but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.
This is a huge victory for Apple because its an important feature in smartphones and Apple could go on to attack other Android phone manufacturers as it’s the OS that is violating the patent – not the hardware. Watch out Android partners!