HTC completes workaround to get past Apple's patent ban
HTC said it was pleased with a recent patent infringement ruling from the ITC, because it involves a simple UI element that was easy to fix. It appears the company was not exaggerating as the workaround is already completed.
HTC infringed patent (#5,946,647) which describes a "system and method [which] causes a computer to detect and perform actions on structures identified in computer data." In a nutshell, it's describes a method to select an item like an email address or a phone number and launch the appropriate application. The patent doesn't cover the idea, but the exact method used in iOS.
HTC has until April 2012 to apply this fix to its handsets, and the company is already testing it for compliance. If all goes well, future handsets will likely ship with the fix already in place. Google chimed in on this ruling and confirmed the decision will not affect any core parts of the Android operating system. It's a "user interface feature" which can be fixed easily. This is terrific news for Android handset makers who probably won't have to go toe-to-toe with Apple in a legal battle over this patent.
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