Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Apple loses two skirmishes in its patent war with HTC

July 5, 2012: 7:17 AM ET

First in Washington, then in London

The HTC One X. Photo: Engadget

FORTUNE -- Apple (AAPL) may be on a winning streak with Samsung, but this week it lost two courtroom skirmishes with HTC -- the first smartphone manufacturer to be sued in Steve Jobs' "thermonuclear" war against Google's (GOOG) Android operating system.

  • On Monday, the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington refused to grant the emergency ban on 29 HTC smartphones that Apple had requested in June.
  • On Wednesday, the London-based High Court of Justice ruled that HTC did not infringe four Apple patents, as alleged. Furthermore, it ruled that three of the four -- slide-to-unlock, multi-touch and multilingual keyboard capability --¬†were invalid.

"[The] High Court of Justice showed once again why it's the most defendant-friendly patent court in the world," wrote FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller in his assessment of the second ruling.

Mueller believes London's decision could have broader repercussions. Although it's not likely to affect Apple's U.S. cases, it could influence other courts in Europe where more iPhone vs. Android cases are pending.

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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