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ITC staff: HTC Android ban not against public interest

The legal battle Apple (s aapl) is waging against Android (s goog) could become one of Steve Jobs’ most influential legacies, and a new statement from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) might stand as a key victory for Apple in that ongoing fight.

The ITC’s Office of Unfair Import Investigations (OUII) released a report Friday (brought to our attention by FOSS Patents’ Florian Mueller) that dismisses allegations made by Google (s goog) and T-Mobile that a U.S. ban on the sale of HTC Android devices would be against the public interest. Those two companies made headlines when they came to HTC’s defense in the ongoing ITC review of a decision it rendered earlier this year when it found HTC did infringe on two of 10 Apple patents.

The OUII said in its statement that it is “unaware of any public interest concerns that would preclude issuance of the exclusion order proposed by OUII in this investigation.” The ITC organization claims that since “the public interest favors the protection of U.S. intellectual property rights by excluding infringing imports,” and since “there is no evidence that U.S. demand for the accused products cannot be met by numerous other entities, including [Apple] or its licensees,” any ban on HTC devices found to infringe on Apple patents would indeed not be counter to the public interest.

The OUII’s statement in favor of Apple in this case for the reasons cited above could have far-reaching consequences, according to Mueller, since, he points out, “there are other ITC cases going on with respect to Android, including the investigations of Apple’s and Microsoft’s (s msft) complaints against Motorola Mobility (s mmi) and Apple’s complaint against Samsung.”

Both parties await the final decision pending review of the initial decision against HTC, which is tentatively due on Dec. 6, 2011. If the decision goes in Apple’s favor, it will be a major victory for the iPhone maker, and a significant setback for Google as it tries to build up more patent protection for the OS.

8 Responses to “ITC staff: HTC Android ban not against public interest”

  1. AppleFUD

    If apple really wanted me, and many like me, to be their customers they would offer us more choice, not gimp their devices every generation to promote upgrade cycles, allow us to side load apps if we wish (most wouldn’t even bother), and allow them to be as powerful as they can be–let the mouse work without having to jailbreak an iOS device so we can have hardware close to the Asus Transformer.

    Instead they wage lawsuits against what they perceive as “copied” or “stolen” technology–most everything apple has done is built off of other people’s IP as they have NOT *invented* anything we currently use in tech today. . . they just put their twist on previously invented tech, as does every other company.

    So, with these kinds of actions Apple, and MS with their street thug mentality, push a customer like me to anything other than them, and they will drive more and more people away because we will tell all our friends not to purchase their products and they will tell their friends. . .

    This is how a company losses its “cool” factor very very quickly.

    • as an inventor, I know the patent system well. When apple claimed that they stole two of the 10 patents….they were correct. See, when you place in your paperwork for a patent, anyone and everyone can see the paperwork after it gets submitted. just go to google/patents and check for yourself. Companies pay big bucks for someone to steal a patent and try to market it before the patent owner can get the product out in hopes that the patent owner wouldnt make or have enough money to fight them in a legal battle. Most the money inventors invest in their ideas and patents are the dollars that they spend in lawyers trying to fight the group of patent stealers. Just like the paparazzi, they sit and wait for something thats going to make them lots of money. So. You dont know what your talking about, you just lost your “cool” factor.

  2. It’s simple, the carriers have more influence over the government than Apple. The carriers make far more money off Android with almost 2x the contracts. There is no way any sort of major ban will occur in the US on Android devices.

    These little victories in various lesser regions have done nothing to slow Android’s dominant market share. MS approach is much smarter & is at least making a little money in royalties.

  3. Maybe its not in the best interest of Americans, but I think the rest of the world will disagree ;)
    The whole patent system nowadays should be revamped. It fits to the previous century.