While the Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Tab 10.1 have been at least temporarily banned in the United States, a judge in the United Kingdom has ruled that HTC smartphones do not infringe on four Apple patents, including slide-to-unlock and multi-touch technologies.
HTC’s devices don’t infringe four Apple patents for the technology and three of those patents are invalid, Judge Christopher Floyd said today. [...] The U.K. court judgment “marks a considerable defeat for Apple in the smartphone patent wars,” said Peter Bell, an attorney at Stevens & Bolton LLP, who isn’t involved in the case. “Two of Apple’s prize patents have been knocked out in the U.K.”
While HTC is pleased with the ultimate ruling in this case, the handset maker is disappointed that Apple “continues to favor competition in the courtroom over competition in the marketplace,” which is a sentiment echoed by several consumers.
Apple maintains its belief that competition is healthy, but only when other companies use original technologies instead of copying the iPhone maker. The results of this U.K. case could be precedent-setting for a similar case that is to be heard in Germany later this year, since the same four Apple patents will be called into question.
Apple is currently involved in patent infringement litigation with many of its rivals, including HTC and Samsung, across numerous countries worldwide. In the United States, Apple recently attempted to have an import ban placed on some of HTC’s new smartphones because they allegedly violate a patent related to telephone number discovery in emails. The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has allowed those HTC smartphones to continue shipping while it investigates the patent infringement issue.