HTC Pares Down ITC Complaint against Apple to 2 Patents

HTC has trimmed down its International Trade Commission patent infringement complaint against Apple to only two patents ahead of next month’s scheduled trial. At one point, HTC listed eight patents in its complaint, but after its most recent motion to withdraw will pursue just two patents in court seen as standards essential.

HTC taking Apple to court over standards essential patentsHTC taking Apple to court over standards essential patents

HTC claimed Apple is using its patents without licensing, although so far the smartphone maker hasn’t been very successful in keeping its complaint in front o a judge. Five of the eight patents in its complaint were tossed out by an ITC Judge for lack of standing, and now the company has withdrawn another of its own accord.

Apple’s legal team is alleging that HTC is abusing its patents to stifle competition.

“Apple makes serious allegations of FRAND abuse,” said Florian Muller of FOSS Patents. “If Apple prevails on any of those counterclaims or its related FRAND defenses, then HTC’s second ITC complaint will have failed in its entirety.”

HTC was dealt a hard blow in December 2011 when an ITC Judge ruled the company’s Android-based smartphones are violating an Apple patent covering data detection in apps. The agency granted an injunction blocking the import and sale of HTC phones that are deemed to be infringing on the patent, although the company quickly started working on a software update that would avoid stepping on Apple’s patent.

HTC’s trial over the remaining two patents in its ITC complaint is set to start in about a month.