FORTUNE -- In what is believed to be the first tangible effect of the two-year-old proxy war Apple (AAPL) has waged against Google (GOOG) though the makers of Android phones, U.S. Customs officials have delayed shipment of two of HTC newest models pending inspection.
The delay is indefinite, but may turn out to be brief.
In December Apple won a narrow victory over the Taiwanese manufacturer of smartphones and tablets when the International Trade Commission found that some earlier HTC phones had violated a single Apple patent provision covering the way smartphones make sense of unstructured data, such as e-mails. (See: Apple wins limited ruling in important Android patent case.)
The ITC delayed its mandatory exclusion order until May 19 to give HTC time to devise a workaround. In a statement issued Tuesday, HTC said it believed the new phones -- the HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE -- are in compliance with the ruling, and that it is working with U.S. Customs officials to secure their release.
Nonetheless, HTC shares fell more than 6% in the Asian markets on the news.
HTC, you may recall, was the first maker of Android phones that Apple took to court. The suit was filed on March 2, 2010, and in an oft-quoted statement, Steve Jobs threw down the gauntlet:
"We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We've decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."
Not the knockout blow Steve Jobs sought; Google has until April to find a workaround
Apple (AAPL) has won a partial victory in an intellectual property case that Steve Jobs had famously vowed to fight to his "last dying breath."
The U.S. International Trade commission ruled Monday that the software in some of HTC's Android smartphones violated one provision of an Apple patent and that those phones would no longer be allowed into the MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 19, 2011 5:46 PM ET
The new deadline in a key Apple vs. HTC patent infringement case is Monday, Dec. 19
There are six more days of nail-biting ahead for Apple (AAPL) and HTC.
A final decision on a closely watched case before the International Trade Commission that was due on Dec. 6 and then postponed to Dec. 14 has been postponed once again to Monday, Dec. 19.
This is a big one.
In the worst case scenario for MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 14, 2011 6:25 AM ET
Steve Jobs claimed that Google "stole" this Apple innovation. Last week, the ITC agreed.
When an iPhone receives a message that contains a phone number or an address -- e-mail, Web or street -- those bits of data are automatically highlighted, underlined and turned into clickable links.
Click on the phone number, and the iPhone asks if you want to dial it. Click on the Web address, and it opens in Safari. MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 16, 2011 7:45 AM ET
Apple changes its in-house legal guard. Samsung wants Apple's outside counsels ousted
On the heels of a Reuters report that Apple's (AAPL) chief patent counsel has been replaced by Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ) top intellectual properties attorney (something that, according to their LinkedIn profiles, may have happened two months ago), comes a 20 page motion from Samsung asking the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to throw out most, if MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 12, 2011 8:45 AM ET
A move to "streamline" an epic legal battle has only made it more complicated
There was some confusion in the tech press last Saturday when Bloomberg reported that Samsung had quietly dropped a countersuit filed in California in response to Apple's (AAPL) charge last April that Samsung had "slavishly" copied Apple's iPhone.
"One down, one to go?" wrote Christopher Trout for Engadget.
Hardly. As FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller reported Wednesday, what Samsung did MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 7, 2011 5:31 AM ET
Apple and its main supplier of memory chips seem headed for "ugly divorce," says expert
The legal battle began in April when Apple (AAPL) filed a suit in California accusing Samsung of "slavishly" copying its iPhone and iPad designs has gone nuclear.
After trading suits and counter suits in several legal venues, from South Korea to the U.K., Samsung on Thursday took its case to the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington. MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 30, 2011 6:33 AM ET
Told Apple had not violated 5 of its patents, Nokia filed a complaint about 7 more
The strange, prolonged patent dispute between Apple (AAPL) and Nokia (NOK) took another bizarre twist Tuesday.
Four days after an administrative law judge at the International Trade Commission in Washington made an initial determination that Apple was not -- as Nokia claimed -- in violation of five Nokia patents, the Finnish cellphone giant was back in MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 29, 2011 8:28 AM ET
Winning a skirmish at the ITC is not the same as winning a war. Apple vs. Nokia take note.
"Kodak Wins a Round in $1 Billion Apple, RIM Patent Dispute" -- Bloomberg News
Traders were pretty quick to cash in on that headline. Kodak's (EK) battered stock opened Friday at $3.30 a share and jumped nearly 25% to $4.12 in after-hours trading, as if those $1 billion were already in Kodak's pocket.
But MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 26, 2011 6:32 AM ET
The struggling bookseller now has to fend off a lawsuit from Microsoft over the Android OS in its Nook eBook Reader.
Microsoft (MSFT) today filed legal actions against Barnes & Noble, Inc.(BKS), Foxconn International Holdings Ltd., and Inventec Corporation in both the U.S. International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington over patents related to the Android operating systems on which its Nook eBook readers are MORESeth Weintraub - Mar 21, 2011 5:53 PM ET
|What stumps Warren Buffett? Minimum wage|
|Water becoming more valuable than gold|
|GM's $1.3 billion recall cost wipes out profit|
|Will 7 Apples a day keep the bears away? - The Buzz|
|Ex-Wal-Mart CEO Duke retired with $140 million|