Remember the battle between Apple and HTC that we first told you about back in July, in which Apple accused HTC of violating several patents? And remember how the ITC initially ruled in favor of Apple?
Well, it looks like HTC lost its appeal, and has been given notice "that the U.S. International Trade Commission has found a violation of section 337 in this investigation and has issued a limited exclusion order prohibiting importation of infringing personal data and mobile communications devices and related software." In other words, certain HTC devices will be banned for sale in the US, beginning in April of 2012.
The patents in question involve the phone "seeing" an address and phone number in a web page or email, and sending you to the appropriate app when clicking on it. HTC isn't yet saying which devices will be affected, although all hope is not lost.
According to some sources, Google has already implemented a fix for the code in question in Gingerbread, so it won't violate any of Apple's patents. If this is truly the case, devices such as the HTC EVO 3D and the EVO View 4G won't be affected.
Additionally, HTC has said that they already have a solution in mind to fix any remaining devices:
We are gratified that the Commission affirmed the judge’s initial determination on the ‘721 and ‘983 patents, and reversed its decision on the ‘263 patent and partially on the ‘647 patent. We are very pleased with the determination and we respect it. However, the ‘647 patent is a small UI experience and HTC will completely remove it from all of our phones soon.
So in spite of this victory for Apple, it looks like our beloved EVOs are safe from the wrath of Apple … for now, at least. As for the rest of HTC's devices, let's just hope they get an OTA update ready before April.[Android Police | Android Central]