Monday, October 24, 2011

ITC Staff Now Advocates An Exception From Potential HTC 4G Android Device Ban.

ITC staff earlier concluded that banning HTC 4G Android devices would not affect the public, ""is not contrary to the public interest"" since there are other 4G devices in the market. But now they are suggesting a six month narrow exception to be allowed in the case of any exclusion order. So Apple will not be able to ban HTC Android device imports, at least for six months from such decision.

"In its opening submission, OUII recommended that, in the event a violation is found, a limited exclusion order should issue against the HTC Respondents. In OUII's view, the issue raised by the submissions of HTC and third parties (Google and T-Mobile) is not whether an exclusion order should issue, but whether any exceptions to such an order are appropriate based upon the public interest. As discussed below, OUII submits that, based upon the parties' and third-party submissions regarding the public interest, any exclusion order should contain a narrow exception to allow for the continued importation of HTC's 4G-capable devices for a limited duration."

The ITC staff have also concluded that such exception would not harm Apple, sighting that Apple does not have a competing 4G device. (I don;t know if ITC is trying to turn Steve Jobs in his grave);
"In contrast, the harm to Apple from an exception to the exclusion order is likely to be small. Apple currently does not have a competing 4G device. Additionally, the number of 4G HTC devices is fairly small at this time. Thus, Apple will still enjoy the benefit of an exclusion order that is limited , for the present, to only HTC’s 3G devices."
This decision might even affect the ruling of Apple vs Samsung, (request for injunction) soon to be decided in California.
Either way, I find this to be fair and I know, I will be trading my iPhone 4S for a 4G device soon, either from Samsung (most likely) or even HTC.
FOSS Patents has all the information on this issue and more.

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