HTC faces US ban after Apple patent win

2011 has been the year of the patent wars. And usually, when there's a legal spat going on involving mobile patents, Apple is involved.

Alongside its long running, and high profile, battle with Samsung, Apple has also been taking on HTC at the US International Trade Commission and it has won it seems, with a ban on the import into the US of some handsets from HTC put into place.

But hold on, HTC is also claiming "an actual victory" as the ITC's ruling found that HTC had only infringed on 1 out of 10 patent claims made by the Cupertino tech giant and that it had rejected 2 of the 4 claims on the patent that had been upheld in an earlier decision.

"Since the infringing elements identified by the ITC involve and impact only a very minimal part of the user interface, we will remove it as soon as possible and sell non-infringing products," stated HTC to Taiwan’s stock exchange.

That minimal part is said to involve "data tapping", the practice of grabbing embedded information such as a phone number or and email address to use it somewhere later on. Elaborate copying and pasting, it seems.

Ron Cass, a former vice-chairman of the ITC, said: "If I’m HTC – and particularly if I’m Google - I’m feeling a lot better today than if I’m Apple."

HTC has until 19 April to comply with the decision of the ITC. We can't work out who has won really, so we asked the Pools Panel what they thought. Result - score draw.