This has to be one of the most ridiculous patent infringement lawsuits possibly ever. Apple hold a patent for a feature that turns phone numbers and other recognizable data structures (e.g. addresses) into clickable links that when clicked call the linked phone number. Hmm. That seems kind of obvious nowdays right? Don’t all smartphones do this? I remember seeing this a few years back with the Skype client on Windows too – it would turn all phone numbers in a webpage into clickable links that would call the number using Skype if you clicked the link. My Windows Mobile phone four years or so back did this too.
So Apple has sued HTC over a number of patent infringements (why HTC specifically?) and this is the only one that the court ruled that HTC was infringing. The ruling states HTC has until April next year to remove the feature or HTC phones will be banned from being imported into the US. So, HTC responds and has said they’ve removed the feature already for future Android releases on their phones. Ok, good, end of story, that was easy. That wasn’t very exciting was it? The press are of course having a field day with this one.