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Two HTC Smartphones in US Customs, Thanks to Apple Patent Suit

Two HTC Smartphones in US Customs, Thanks to Apple Patent SuitWith Apple having won an exclusion order from the US International Trade Commission (ITC) in December, and a ban on a limited number of HTC handsets becoming effective on April 19, the shipments of two HTC smartphones - HTC One X, and HTC Evo 4G LTE - have got held up in US customs.

Thanks to Apple's patent lawsuit against HTC, the two new Android-based HTC smartphones are currently being blocked by the officials at the US Customs and Border Protection, which will review the handsets to ensure that they do not infringe on a 1996 Apple patent related to smartphone technology.

The patent in question - patent no. 5,946,647 - chiefly relates to "system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer-generated data."

The One X and the new Evo are the first two HTC smartphones which are facing the ITC-imposed custom review process. Even though HTC had shipped a small number of One X handsets to the country before the April 19 ban on patent-violating devices took effect, a Wall Street Journal report said that, since the handset has already been launched, on May 6, the review could have a notable impact on its future sales.

Moreover, with the review also likely to result in the Evo 4G LTE missing its May 18 release date on Sprint's network, HTC said in an official statement that the company believes it is "in compliance with" the ITC ruling and is "working closely with Customs to secure approval" for both the handsets.