At a July session of the International Trade Commission (ITC) in Washington, D.C., an administrative law judge ruled that HTC violated two Apple patents with its smartphone designs. The outcome of the appeal HTC filed immediately after this ruling is set for December 6, and it may have sizable implications for all manufacturers of phones running the Android operating system.
According to CNN Money, the Apple patents that HTC allegedly violated, which respectively involve real-time signal processing for mobile applications and a complex data recognition system, are present in many Android-powered devices in some form. Florian Mueller, an expert with FOSS Patents, stated that this could be massively detrimental to all companies producing such phones.
"It's hard to see how any Android device could not infringe [the patents], or how companies could work around them," Mueller wrote, according to the news provider.
HTC has a great deal to lose if the ruling falls in Apple's favor – it stood as the leading smartphone vendor in the U.S. during the most recent quarter. Its stock shares are already falling – currently at their lowest in 17 months.
The Wall Street Journal reports that major U.S. wireless providers including Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile and AT&T, along with mobile app and smartphone accessories developers, may be negatively impacted if the ruling goes against HTC.