HTC smartphones blocked by US customs

2012-05-17 08:41

Washington - US mobile carrier Sprint said on Wednesday it was delaying the introduction of an Android smartphone from Taiwan's HTC after the devices were blocked by US customs.

The move appeared to mark the first enforcement of a win in a trade complaint by Apple, which claimed Android devices infringed on its patents for one-tap screen commands.

Sprint said in a statement that the phone, known as the HTC EVO 4G LTE "has been delayed" and that "HTC is working to resolve this issue".

But the carrier said, "We can't provide specific timing for product availability at this time".

Sprint said it received a statement from HTC saying two phones being imported into the US were "delayed due to a standard US Customs review".

Apple won an order last December from the US International Trade Commission, which issued a "limited exclusion order" directing that HTC stop bringing offending smartphones into the United States effective on 19 April.

Taiwan-based HTC had expected to be able to adapt the Android-powered handsets to sidestep the trouble with the single patent before the deadline.

The move was likely to come at the cost of removing some features smartphone users enjoy and came as part of an ongoing campaign by Apple to cobble the momentum of smartphones powered by Google's Android software.

Apple has accused HTC and other smartphone makers using Google's Android mobile operating system of infringing on Apple-held patents. A separate case is pending against Samsung.

  • arne.verhoef - 2012-05-17 09:15

    Apple is a fascist organisation, Jobs was their hitler.

      gerhard.nel - 2012-05-17 11:09

      This is just like suing some other car manufacturer for having round wheels. Come on Apple.

      Stirrer - 2012-05-17 11:57

      The whole software/method patent situation in the US is getting ridiculous - scratch that, it already has been for more then a decade. It's stifling innovation, and should not have been allowed in the first place. Copyright on code, yes. Patents on hardware, yes. But patents on methods? Ag please... Most of it's been done before and can be regarded as "prior art", but the US Patent Office simply allows the most ridiculous patent applications to go through.

      Dinonofopico - 2012-05-17 20:05

      I love HTC than than the Iphone but i also value the creativity, and if someone wants to protect his product its a good thing, if htc wated to use apples products fairly they must do so fairly.

  • Terry - 2012-05-17 09:21

    Apple are really starting to become annoying. They are now behaving exactly as they used to accuse Microsoft of doing - by using their muscle to try and block innovation and creativity of others, and tie them up in legal battles to prevent them gaining market share. This is not in the interest of consumers!

  • jasonv4 - 2012-05-17 10:26

    Apple are developing a new phone now with bigger screen based on the great success of the samsung galaxy. I hope Apple get banned for copying this....fair is fair...

      gerhard.nel - 2012-05-17 11:11

      Agreed. Their small screen sucks and now their concept Iphone5 looks a hell lot like the Galaxy S3

  • Tuco - 2012-05-17 10:41

    What are you afraid of apple? kitchen getting a bit too hot? Go ahead, these sort of tactics are not going to stop the android tsunami by a long shot.

  • accvanzyl - 2012-05-17 12:11

    Just another reason for me to refuse to use any Apple device

      Preshen - 2012-05-17 15:39

      because you are cheap

  • Lauden Kirk - 2012-05-17 16:44

    And Samsung ?? Did apple restrain trade in the USA

  • thelittlegreenhouse - 2012-05-17 17:41

    Glad Apple are not building cars; they might be tempted to patent a One-steering-wheel-vehicle!? ;-)

  • colin.ashby.35 - 2012-05-17 18:05

    apple is making itself the company to be hated.

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-05-17 22:38

    An Apple a day ... Can't wait for the 5 to arrive. Patent is a patent, they should have also patented the cell battery. Wonder if it's too late?

  • Jeremy - 2012-05-18 09:42

    i say boycott apple

  • Jeremy - 2012-05-18 09:54

    apple iphone are a pain can download or update without wifi why they made the iphone 4 3g when theres 4g is beyond me its pretty simple there product is not up to par so there so instead of working harder to make a better phone they attack better products and my phone broke and now im phone less till they release the phone i paid for so to me apple well not be getting my money ever i dont like snakey companys

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-05-19 17:19

    Technically our 4G is 3.5G

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