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HTC Successfully Challenges Apple Patents in British Court

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In a British high court today, Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC managed to defeat Apple in a series of legal challenges relating to patents, most notably the prized “Slide to Unlock”. Apple’s patent relating to the “Multi-touch” was also found to be partly invalid.

HTC also successful challenged an Apple patent on the use of different character sets for text messaging. The day wasn’t a total loss for Apple as they successfully defended a patent on the way the iPhone handles photos.

Mr. Justice Floyd ruled that Apple’s “Slide-to-Unlock” and “Multi-touch” patents were “too obvious” and foreshadowed by previously existing patents.

After the ruling. a spokesperson for HTC said:

“Today, the English High Court found that three of four patents claimed by Apple to be infringed by HTC were invalid, and that HTC did not infringe the fourth,”

“One of the invalidated patents is Apple’s flagship ‘slide to unlock’ patent. Apple’s photo management patent was found not to be infringed.

“HTC is pleased with the ruling, which provides further confirmation that Apple’s claims against HTC are without merit.

“We remain disappointed that Apple continues to favour competition in the courtroom over competition in the marketplace.”

This is the latest in a series of battles between the world’s major smartphone vendors and this ruling is expected to have worldwide ramifications especially in the United States and Germany where Apple is currently involved in other patent disputes.

What are your thoughts on the British High Court ruling? Do you think it will have an impact on the future of the iPhone and smartphones in general?

[via The Telegraph]

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  • Tom

    C’mon iSheeps, got nothing to say? #boycottapple

  • JMCD23

    I hope to see more of these cases thrown own, regardless of who they are by or against. Patent disputes in this field are almost all stupid.

  • caulfield

    Why would this have “worldwide ramifications”? This decision was done by the British High Court, which has no jurisdiction or influence in other judicial systems.

    And I disagree that more of these cases should be thrown out. Decisions made in these cases become precedents in future cases of this kind. And when I say future cases, I don’t mean Apple vs XYZ Company. These decisions will also affect regular people like you and I who hold patents and make a living off them.

  • Mark Roberts

    I’m with you. My HTC One X gives me way more freedom than my old iPhone 4s. Enough is enough with Apple. #boycottapple

  • Apple_legal_team_sucks

    I am sick of companies that throw around ridiculous patents. As an engineer I can safely say the patent office has become a complete joke. It has nothing to do with protecting innovative designs and everything to do with lawyers sucking the life out of yet another industry.
    Apple needs to get their head out of their butt and start competing in the market place with features the users want, rather than bullying people with stupid patents.

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