HTC defeats Apple in UK court over patents

Macworld Australia Staff
5 July, 2012
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HTC has defeated a patent-infringement case brought against it the UK, after a judge found that the smartphone maker didn’t infringe on four of Apple’s patents relating to touchscreen technology.

The High Court found that Apple’s patents covering the slide-to-unlock feature, multi-touch functionality and changing alphabets were invalid. However it ruled that a photo management patent owned by Apple was valid, but HTC had not infringed it, reported TelegraphUK.

A HTC spokesman welcomed the court’s ruling, which said that parts of the slide-to-unlock feature patented were too “obvious”. The multi-touch patent was also found to be partly invalid because it was too obvious, and the judge, Christopher Floyd, said HTC’s smartphones did not infringe on what remained.

Floyd dealt Apple an almost total defeat in the case, as the patents – and the slide-to-unlock one in particular – are prized by the company, according to intellectual property experts.

Peter Bell, of the law firm Stevens & Bolton, who was not involved in the case, said the case was likely to have “significant ramifications” across Europe.

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





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