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HTC's latest smartphones have passed inspection by US customs while en route to American pockets, rendering an import ban won by Apple useless. The fruity firm got a blocking order from the International Trade Commission (ITC) after successfully arguing in December that one of its user-interface patents was partly infringed by …

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Trollface

nice one

but can htc post software updates this fast as well please ????

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Anonymous Coward

Now that

The Samsung S3 is out it won't make much difference, no one will buy them.

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jai
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powerless?

Quotes from the article:

boxes of the HTC One X and the Evo 4G LTE were warehoused

the launch of the Evo was stalled

The delay was enough to spook investors a bit

To me, that doesn't exactly sound like "powerless" or that the ban was "useless"

Looks like they got exactly what they aiming for really.

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WTF?

Very, very confused

The patent in question involves identifying and highlighting, say, a phone number in an email and allowing the punter to make a call to that number

My Sony Ericsson W800i does that, and I bought it in 2006.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Very, very confused

Yes, but Sony Ericsson isn't a US company, so therefore they don't exist as far as the US patent office is concerned. And, if they don't exist, they couldn't have done something before Apple did, could they?

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Happy

Re: Very, very confused

Ah, thanks for clearing that up :)

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Stop

Re: Very, very confused

Pretty sure my Sony CMD-Z7 had that feature back in 2002, on SMS's, well before the iPhone was even thought of!

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Stop

Re: Very, very confused

Here we go again.

The patent in question dates back to 1996 and covers two related things :

1) recognising types of data (be that a phone number, email address etc.)

2) providing a context sensitive menu based on the type of data (do you want to call the number, send a text etc)

If you can find prior art (I.e. before 1996) that does both of these things then I'm sure that HTC would be interested to hear from you. As they've been through a whole legal process and not found anything that counts then HTC have to find a way around step 2, though they could provide direct actions (for example tapping a number dials it).

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Anonymous Coward

Obvious, not novel, and with prior art?

" The patent in question involves identifying and highlighting, say, a phone number in an email and allowing the punter to make a call to that number."

They a.) were able to patent that and b.) block shipments because of it?

I have never seen a Smartphone that couldn't do this, so WTF?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Obvious, not novel, and with prior art?

More than that, I've had non-smart phones that could do this.

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Patents system is...

...fucked up!

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Holmes

And *still* no-one picks up on this...

Apples new cuddly CEO suddenly wants to talk rather than litigate, just as they are about to bring out tellies with exactly the same look and feel as all the others Samsung, LG etc launched over the last 10 years. Yes lads, all that rounded corner nonsense was just a joke - you'll forget it all now we want to bring stuff out which we innovated from your designs, right? The same way we innovated our name from the Beatles record label, innovated all Androids 2+ year old features in our latest toy, and in fact are about to innovate the same screen size all the decent phones out today have in our next one.

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Pirate

"innovated"

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

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Facepalm

Re: "innovated"

Er...*whoosh*...

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Joke

Re: "innovated"

I guess you and two other people didn't spot the tongue between my cheeks. ;)

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Anonymous Coward

damages

Clearly apple will be paying considerable damages to HTC as a result of this.

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Anonymous Coward

What about 3rd party in-app dialling..?

...such as the Touchdown and Gmail clients for example which both provide phone number one-tap dial functionality?

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WTF?

I'm sorry but what the freaking hell. A patent to highlight a bloody phone number in a text or on the internet?

Hmm its not like that's never been done before anywhere else *cough*skype google pretty much any other web service*

These software patents are getting more pathetic every time I see them.

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Megaphone

Careful...

Don't get used to writing in English... Apple will be going for that soon. After all, it's been in use for more then a few centuries so they are sure of some huge licensing fees. And don't even think of staying on Earth too long because that's in the public domain too, and we all know that's just a holding ground for Apple till they get the funding together for bribing the IPO.

I'm expecting the old bill to call any minute now since I haven't renewed my Apple air usage agreement.

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Concept vs Implementation

The software patent process is crazy.

They should only protect the algorithm, not the concept.

If the same logic was applied to airplanes, Apple could patent "A CRAFT THAT FLIES" and then sue the guy who invents Anti-gravity ;)

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