Well apparently the ITC does have some teeth. In the first tangible success from Apple’s ongoing battle with a multitude of Android manufacturers, The Verge is reporting that US Customs officials have halted shipments of the spankin’ new HTC One X and Evo 4G LTE pending an investigation into whether or not those products run afoul of Apple’s intellectual property.
We’ve learned today that the One X and Evo 4G LTE are indefinitely delayed at Customs as the agency investigates patent issues with Apple, and sources have further confirmed that some shipments are indeed being held back. The One X is also currently out of stock at AT&T’s online store and at most AT&T retail stores we’ve called — and few had any information on when more units would arrive.
The patent at issue relates back to actionable items rooted in Apple patent #5,946,647. The patent covers, for example, the ability for an OS to detect various data structures in a document, such as a phone number, and enable users to click on that number and make a call. Another example would be an email containing the phrase “next Thursday” would be clickable and give users the option to create a calendar event.
The original ITC ruling was handed down back in December with the ban going into effect on April 19th. And now before HTC imports its new products into the US, Customs agents want to make sure that proper workarounds have been implemented.
HTC has since confirmed the report, noting in a press release:
The US availability of the HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE has been delayed due to a standard U.S. Customs review of shipments that is required after an ITC exclusion order. We believe we are in compliance with the ruling and HTC is working closely with Customs to secure approval. The HTC One X and HTC Evo 4G LTE have been received enthusiastically by customers and we appreciate their patience as we work to get these products into their hands as soon as possible.