Monday, July 18, 2011

Android Violates iPhone Patents, Could Face Import Ban

A major blow was struck in the battle between Apple and Google for control of the smartphone market, but not due to some new innovation. Quite the opposite, actually - the U.S. International Trade Commission found this week that the Android operating system violated two patents owned by Apple back in 1996.

Phone manufacturer HTC has appealed the decision and it can be overruled, but that seems unlikely.

If the ruling stands, the ITC could ban the import of HTC's Android phones before the end of the year. HTC has some other options, including trading patents for cross-licesning with Apple or re-engineering their system to avoid Apple's patented technology, but neither of those solutions will come easily.

The violated patent covers a system that extracts key contact info from messages the smartphone receives and turns them into clickable links for easy access.

If you receive a message with a phone number, the link allows you to dial that number; if you receive a message with an address, clicking the link takes you to a map of that location, and so on. It's such a basic function that it's hard to imagine Android being able to compete without it.

Source : ology.com

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