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A U.S. judge has said Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) may not be able to successfully invalidate two HTC wireless patents in court, a result that could lead to import bans on the third-generation iPad and the upcoming iPhone. “Clear and convincing means something to me,” U.S. International Trade Commission Judge Thomas Pender said. “I have to be pretty darn certain a U.S. patent is invalid.”
HTC has accused Apple of infringing on two of its patents related to transmitting data and says the technology is critical for using 4G LTE in smart devices. While the third-generation iPad is already 4G-LTE capable, the new Apple smartphone is rumored to be so. An HTC victory could have a potentially large impact on the sales of the tablet and the yet-unreleased phone.
The Taiwanese manufacturer is also involved in a separate lawsuit with Apple filed by the latter, and a win here will give it leverage to force a settlement. Apple lawyer Michael McKeon HTC filed the current case at trial “in retaliation against Apple” after losing other patent cases against the company.
According to Bloomberg, HTC lawyer Tom Jarvis told the court the company was the first to sell Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android and 4G devices. “HTC is an innovator,” Jarvis told the judge. “It’s no Johnny-come-lately.”
The case, first filed in August 2011, initially included five patents that HTC obtained from Google. While Judge Pender threw out that part of the case, he appears to be leaning toward HTC on the latest two patents in question.
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