The US International Trade Commission (ITC) says it plans to investigate Apple’s latest patent complaint against HTC, potentially leading to HTC product imports being frozen.
Apple made its complaint in July, alleging that HTC was violating its patents for portable electronics software architecture, user interfaces, touchpads and motion sensor hardware.
Last month, the ITC ruled in favor of Apple over two other patent complaints. An appeal is still possible – and likely -but if the decision’s upheld it could lead to the banning of imports of some Android-based HTC smartphones.
In a statement, the ITC says that this complaint, too could lead to a cease-and-desist order against HTC. The affected devices include the Droid Incredible, Wildfire, EVO 4G and Desire, as well as the Flyer tablet and HTC Sense UI customizations and apps.
More likely, though, is a licensing deal; HTC’s believed to already be forking out several dollars to Apple for every phone it sells. A decision in Apple’s favor on this latest patent claim could hike prices that bit further. Other Android phone manufacturers such as Samsung will no doubt be watching closely.