TAIWANESE PHONE MAKER HTC could get the Iphone and Ipad banned in the US, after a judge has said that Apple might be unable to invalidate the company's patents.
It's not just Apple and Samsung who are at each other's throats, as HTC is accusing Apple of infringing two of its patents relating to data transmission. These patents are critical to 4G LTE technology, which means that the firm could win import bans against the latest Apple Ipad and the incoming Iphone 5.
Speaking in court, HTC America VP Martin Fichter said, "LTE products were particularly important to our strategy in 2011. We're a pioneer in that field."
Apple is arguing that HTC has grabbed the 4G patents solely for the purpose of using them in court, but US International Trade Commission (ITC) Judge Thomas Pender said that Apple will have a hard time invalidating the two HTC patents.
"I don't care if they bought these patents to sue you or not," Judge Thomas Pender told Apple's lawyer, according to Bloomberg. "They are a property right. Clear and convincing means something to me. I have to be pretty darn certain a U.S. patent is invalid."
A victory could see HTC scoring an import ban on the upcoming Iphone 5 following its launch on Wednesday, assuming it comes with support for LTE connectivity.
Apple and HTC have been fighting over patents since March 2010, when Apple accused HTC of patent infringement in its Android powered smartphone lineup.
Neither Apple nor HTC were available for comment at time of writing. µ