In a blow for Android, not to mention the free market, innovation and common sense, the United States International Trade commission has ruled in Apple’s favor in its case against HTC’s Android devices. Certain devices, not currently articulated, will be illegal to import into the United States as of April 19, 2012. The two companies may reach a patent settlement, or President Obama may veto the order.

Apple brought forth its case based on several patents, but the one that it won the patent case one is a system level patent, according to The Verge. The injunction will go to the desk of President Obama, who will have sixty days to veto the motion or sign it. (He’s a Blackberry guy, so we’ll call him neutral in this case.) Vetos against an ITC decision are rare, but something tells me that this case will receive particular attention.

What happens now? Normally when two large companies come to blows over patents, a licensing deal is hammered out before it actually stops sales or imports. And that may indeed happen – but if anyone is poised to buck the trend in patent litigation, it’s Apple. The company refused to settle with Samsung in their Australian patent case, forcing a long and drawn out system of appeals.

It was revealed in the recent autobiography of late apple co-founder Steve Jobs that he was furious over perceived theft of intellectual property in Android, and declared that he would “spend my last dying breath if I need to…I’m going to destroy Android because it’s a stolen product.” Apple’s non-cooperative and litigious actions in Australia and Germany seem to be in line with that imperative. Apple eventually lost the Australian case on appeal, and Samsung’s tablets are once again on sale down under.

Apple also tried to ban Samsung from selling phones and tablets in the US based on design patents, and the injunction was denied earlier this month. Apple’s efforts to harass, stymie and generally beat Android manufacturers into economic death using the patent system have so far met with mixed results. What happens now depends upon how willing Apple is to negotiate (a factor that may have changed after Jobs’ death) and whether or not President Obama agrees with the ITC ruling.


  1. this is crazy….i can’t believe there is actually a judge that can justify taking that position while keeping a straight face. I’m guessing the new condo that he just “bought” and the boat will look nice with his new apple I-Phone he got as a parting gift!

  2. Truly a sad day for everything fair and open in the history of mankind. I think now is the time for every company in OHA (Open Handset Alliance) to go on complete offensive against Apple and just shut it down. Can’t anybody see that Apple is really bringing a complete Nazi era in the corporate world!

  3. This is not a surprise because I knew Apple (Jobs) is willing to spend a lot of money to do anything they can to stop the advance of Android.   Dirty tricks like this by Apple just insures that I will NEVER buy any of their products again. 

    Y’know, after using my new ASUS Transformer tablet (with keyboard) for a couple weeks I’ve noticed a little something:  These things make a beautiful little laptop that is a real pleasure to use.  All that is missing today is a good word processor, but they are coming soon. 

    So what’s that say for Apple and Microsoft?  A tablet/laptop will be rather inexpensive and quality software will be anywhere from free to just a few bucks.  Those companies selling expensive hardware and software are going to feel that pinch within the next couple years.

    Jobs saw that coming and that is why Apple turned a room full of lawyers loose to harass any company selling Android as much as possible.  Microsoft got into that act, too.

  4. Maybe Apple will be the only product available in the USA and those of us elsewhere will benefit from a wider range of cheaper devices that are “dumped” on us!

    I’m all for protection of Intellectual Property if the ideas are truly novel but more often than not it just seems that patents are granted for something that is an electronic implementation of a previously existing mechanical device or action of a similar nature.

    Is an Icon that changes when you touch it really that different from an illuminated doorbell from the the 1940’s? How can “turning a page” or “locking” something be granted a patent?

    The patent system is being abused and in danger of becoming a laughing stock around the world.

  5. I guess this will be a never-ending clash of the big smartphone distributors… it’s all about staying on the top and beating the competition… 🙁


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