HTC, Huawei, ZTE did not violate Flashpoint patents – US panel

HTC Corp and others did not violate digital camera patents owned by Apple Inc spinoff FlashPoint Technology to make their smartphones, the US International Trade Commission (“ITC”) said last week.

FlashPoint Technology, which filed the complaint in 2012, had originally accused Taiwan-based HTC, China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp of infringing four patents for smartphone cameras. One of the patents was dropped as the case proceeded.

An administrative law judge found in a preliminary decision on 30 September 2013, that two HTC smartphones - the HTC Vivid and HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE - infringed upon one FlashPoint patent, while Huawei and ZTE were cleared.

The commission, which reviewed the judge's ruling, said in a final decision on Friday that none of the accused companies infringed the patents and it terminated the investigation. If the companies had been found guilty of violating the patents, the smartphones could have been banned from the US market.

The ITC is a popular venue for patent lawsuits because it can ban infringing products from the US more easily than district courts. It will rule that a patent has been violated if the accused company infringes the patent and if the patent owner uses the patent in the US.

Contributed by Reuters News