Well folks. It appears patent bickering over the most mundane, ridiculous “features” has reached another new high. New shipments of HTC’s EVO 4G LTE and One X handsets have been indefinitely delayed as U.S. Customs carry out a completely secretive investigation to make sure the aforementioned devices don’t infringe on an ITC ruling handed down back in December, and set into active status this past April – April 19th to be exact.
The patent in question, #5,946,647, belongs to Apple and essentially deals with the phone’s ability to take a piece of text and perform a number of actions when clicked on (like tapping a phone number within a sentence to initiate a call). Pretty minor, right?
Unfortunately, the super tight security and secrecy around such investigations means HTC won’t know anything (not even a timetable for the investigation’s completion) until the U.S. Customs decides they’re ready to share such information.
HTC maintains that they feel confident in both a quick and resolute conclusion in their favor, saying that they believe they are within full compliance of the law, and far away from infringing on Apple’s patent.
“The US availability of the HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE has been delayed due to a standard U.S. Customs review of shipments that is required after an ITC exclusion order. We believe we are in compliance with the ruling and HTC is working closely with Customs to secure approval. The HTC One X and HTC Evo 4G LTE have been received enthusiastically by customers and we appreciate their patience as we work to get these products into their hands as soon as possible.”
Yes. People/companies need to protect their IP. Yes. Violators of said laws should be punished. But this…this is just stupid.