Monday, December 12, 2011

Are You Ready to Rumble? Judgment Day For Apple & HTC In U.S. Courts

For the last couple of years now Apple Inc. has had numerous court battles with numerous smartphone manufacturers who run Google Inc.’s Android OS. Apple and HTC are approaching their first big day in court this week on Wednesday. Apple claims that the Android OS copies it’s iOS platform. Therefore Apple believes that some manufacturers are violating copyright infringement.  

On Wednesday the International Trade Commission in Washington D.C. is expected to rule whether smartphones made by HTC, particularly those running the Android OS are in violation of Apple’s patents. If Apple has their way, this could lead to a ban on smartphones made by the Taiwanese company HTC (which by the way for those who don’t know, HTC stands for High Tech Company). It is in my belief that HTC makes some of the best phones in the world. I have owned different ones with different OS over the years, have just upgraded of course.

HTC surely isn’t the only smartphone manufacturer who has had it’s fair share of run ins with Apple. Apple has also had numerous court proceedings with Samsung and Motorola, who manufacture smartphones with the Android OS as well. I understand Apple’s complaints somewhat, but how does it help with the advancement of technology with all of these petty copyright infringements?

The smartphone market is growing at an alarming rate. According to a new report from research firm Gartner Inc., more than 645 million smartphones will be sold world-wide next year. That’s up 40% from this year, whereas sales of the personal computer are expected to grow 4.5%, or about 370 million units. We are spending more time with our smartphones, because of the PC like ability that we are able to enjoy with them.

Google’s Android, which is distributed freely has become an obvious target for it’s alarming rate of popularity. Apple is not the only one who is seeking to sue Google, Oracle Corp. alleges that Android violates it’s patents and copyrights also. We of course can’t leave Microsoft out, who is suing Motorola Mobility (just acquired by Google) over violating it’s copyright patents. Of course one company counter sues the other one.

Will Apple win on this Wednesday? They already have an advantage, as a judge this past summer ruled in their favor, ruling that HTC infringed two of Apple’s patents. This is just one step in the process that will likely be in the courts for years to come. If not Apple VS. HTC, it will be Apple VS. Samsung, Motorola or some other smartphone manufacturer.

Will there be a ban on HTC phones here in the states? Will Apple play nice and make peace like they did with Nokia? I will ask this again, How does this help the advancement of technology? What do you think?      

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