An International Trade Commission judge ruled that Apple did not infringe four of HTC's patents, and GPC's Alexander Poltorak says the similarity between the laws in the ITC and U.S. federal court mean that the ITC ruling may have a profound impact on the two companies' litigation ("ITC Ruling Pushes HTC Onto Thin Ice in Apple Patent Brawl", TechNewsWorld.com, October 18, 2011).
Article excerpt: The ITC ruling may indeed have addressed just one of the issues between the companies, but its outcome is an important one, Alexander Poltorak, chairman and CEO of the General Patent Corporation, told the E-Commerce Times.
"This was an important victory for Apple," he said, "because although the decision of the ITC is not necessarily binding on the federal court, where this dispute is also being heard, it still does carry some weight."
Essentially, the underlying laws and arguments made on behalf of those laws by Apple and HTC are the same in both forums, Poltorak explained, and the fact "that the judge ruled that all four patents were valid is highly indicative of the strength of Apple's case."
HTC's Ray of Hope
All is not lost for HTC, however. For starters, the ITC does not have the ability to award damages, Poltorak pointed out. Also, there is an appeals process at the ITC, which HTC can and likely will pursue.
"HTC and Apple are locked in a very complicated dispute involving multiple patents taking place over multiple legal venues," he said. "An appeal is almost a certainty in a case this complicated."