International Trade Commission Judge Thomas Pender has said that two key patents owned by smartphone-maker HTC, are “probably valid”, in a lawsuit that could eventuate in the 4G iPad and future 4G iPhones being banned from sale in the US.
According to Bloomberg, Apple had sought to invalidate two patents HTC purchased from ADC Telecommunications in April 2011. HTC claims the patents, which cover a method for reliably transmitting a large amount of data reliably over a wireless network, cover technology used in Apple’s 4G LTE devices.
After Apple filed its first patent infringement claim against HTC with the ITC in March 2010, the two companies have been involved in a series of patent infringement lawsuits.
Apple had claimed that HTC had purchased the patents for the sole purpose of suing Apple.
“I don’t care if they bought these patents to sue you or not, they are a property right.” Judge Pender said.
Pender also said that he would need to see “clear and convincing” evidence from Apple in order to overturn the patents.
“Clear and convincing means something to me. I have to be pretty darn certain a US patent is invalid.”