Apple Seeks to Block Import of Newest HTC Phones, Tablets

Big 5

Apple Inc. (AAPL) filed an enforcement action at the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, seeking an emergency order that would block imports of HTC Corp.’s (2498) newest phones and tablet computers.

HTC had been ordered by the commission to remove a function patented by Apple for data-detection technology if it wanted to continue selling its mobile phones in the U.S. Apple contends products including the HTC One X, HTC One S, HTC EVO 4G LTE and Flyer tablets continue to infringe its patent.

Apple wants the commission to have all HTC products that run on Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Android operating service blocked from the U.S. until the enforcement case is resolved. Photograph: Landov

Some HTC products were stopped at the U.S. border last month, delaying plans by Sprint Nextel Corp. to sell the HTC EVO 4G. U.S. Customs and Border Protection allowed the products, made in Taiwan, to enter the U.S. after assurances by HTC that they weren’t infringing the Apple patent.

HTC, in a statement May 29, said it had completed a review with customs officials and the company’s products “are in compliance with the ITC’s ruling.”

Apple wants the commission to have all HTC products that run on c (GOOG)’s Android operating service blocked from the U.S. until the enforcement case is resolved.

Using the acronym for a limited exclusion order, the formal term for an import block, Apple said in its filing that “without such an express statement, HTC will continue to flout the terms of the LEO, which has caused and will continue to cause Apple to suffer substantial harm, and contravenes the public interest in enforcement of the commission’s LEO.”

Cupertino, California-based Apple also asked the trade agency to force HTC to remove any products from store shelves that it imported in violation of the exclusion order. HTC otherwise should be required to post a bond equal to the value of each imported product, or at least $290 for each device, Apple said in the filing dated June 4.

Apple filed its initial complaint against HTC in March 2010, the first salvo in the iPhone maker’s legal battle against devices that run on Android. It has since become embroiled in litigation with Samsung Electronics Co. and Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., which became a Google unit last month, over their Android products.

In February, HTC lost a patent-infringement complaint it filed against Apple. Both companies have filed new ITC complaints against each other.

The newest case is In the Matter of Personal Data and Mobile Communications Devices and Related Software, Complaint No. 2900. The earlier case is In the Matter of Certain Personal Data and Mobile Communications Devices and Related Software, 337-710. Both were filed at the U.S. International Trade Commission (Washington).

reported by Bloomberg.

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