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HTC withdraws appeal of Apple patent suit

TAIPEI -- Taiwan's HTC Corp. said yesterday that it has withdrawn an appeal in the United States against a trade panel patent infringement ruling in favor of Apple Inc. in order to focus on other pending cases.

The world's No. 5 smartphone vendor said the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit granted an HTC motion June 13 to dismiss the appeal against a ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC).

“We respect the ruling and have made the decision to focus on other pending cases at this time,” the Taoyuan-based company said in an email reply to CNA, adding that it filed the motion at the end of May.

HTC yesterday rose 3.29 percent to close at NT$361.50.

The withdrawal of the appeal came as another setback for HTC after it failed earlier this year in a previous attempt to sue Apple for patent infringement.

In an Oct. 17 ruling last year, the USITC said Apple had not infringed on four HTC patents for portable electronic devices.

HTC appealed the ruling Oct. 31, but the USITC agreed to review only one of the patents in the dispute, a method of power management for a smartphone that experts thought was too weak to use to attack Apple.

The USITC, which can bar products from being imported to the United States, rejected a claim by HTC Feb. 17, supporting Apple's contention that its products had not infringed upon the patent in question.

HTC then appealed the USITC ruling to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which has nationwide jurisdiction to hear appeals in specialized cases, such as those involving patent laws and cases decided by the Court of International Trade and the Court of Federal Claims.

The USITC ruling in February was the first of three patent-infringement cases HTC has lodged against Apple since May 2010, all of which have sought to ban U.S. imports of Apple's mobile devices, which are produced abroad.

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