HTC has had some of its high-profile new models held at the U.S. border in a patent dispute with Apple. HTC now says that some of its products are getting through.
Last week, U.S. Customs began enforcing an exclusion order from the International Trade Commission blocking the import of HTC products that infring on an patent held by Apple. This means that devices must be inspected as the enter the country.
As HTC told investors:
Each imported HTC model must be reviewed by Customs and will be released once Customs officials have completed the inspection. Some models have gone through inspection and been released to our carriers customers. We don’t have the status of each specific device model at this time, but we are working closely with Customs. We remain confident that this issue will be resolved soon.
These has been no immediate change in the availability of two recent devices from this company. At the time of this writing, AT&T’s HTC One X is still listed as “Out of Stock”, as it has been for most of the last week. Sprint was scheduled to introduce the HTC EVO 4G LTE on Friday, but it is still listed as “Coming Soon” on the carrier’s website.
Apple and HTC, as well as every other company involved in making phones is invlived in a no-holds-bared game of “Patent, Patent, Who’s Got the Patent?” with consumers caught in the middle. In the case with Apple/HTC, the patent in question gives Apple exclusive rights to have phone numbers and addresses in the text of an email be automatically recognized for what they are and hyperlinked to appropriate apps.
Apple’s and Samsung’s CEOs are meeting today in a court-ordered bargaining session to see if they can iron out their differences and come to some form of settlement.