The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) today announced their decision as it relates to the patent suit Apple filed against HTC. The ruling in Apple’s favor places a ban starting on April 19th, 2012 on HTC Android phones that violate a “data tapping patent”. FOSS Patents defines this as:
a patent on an invention that marks up phone numbers and other types of formatted data in an unstructured document, such as an email, in order to enable users to bring up other programs (such as a dialer app) that process such data.
This is a common feature in pretty much any smartphone, let alone one released in 2012. HTC simply cannot leave this feature out, but they can possibly find a workaround that doesn’t violate Apple’s patents. Apple had asserted that HTC violated 10 patents, but the ITC ruled in their favor on just one.