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HTC cleared by USITC in FlashPoint patent accusations

TAIPEI--The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) on Friday (local time) cleared Taiwanese smartphone vendor HTC of infringing on imaging patents belonging to Flashpoint Technology Inc.

Taoyuan-based HTC filed a statement with the Taiwan Stock Exchange Saturday saying it was pleased with the USITC desicion, which is final.

The company added that it respects the intellectual property rights of others, but said it will continue to fight any further unfounded accusations filed by patent licensing companies, referring to firms like FlashPoint, which was found by former Apple Inc. employees in 1996.

In 2012, FlashPoint filed a complaint with the USITC, accusing HTC and China's Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp. of violating four FlashPoint patents for smartphone cameras. One of the four patents in question was dropped from the case.

In a preliminary decision made in late September 2013, a USITC administrative judge said two HTC smartphones models infringed on one of FlashPoint patents, while Huawei and ZTE were both cleared.

In a review of the September ruling, however, the USITC found no incidences of patent theft by the accused, bringing the case to an end.

It was the second time the Taiwanese firm has won a patent case initiated by FlashPoint.

In November 2011, the USITC ruled that some of HTC's electronic imaging devices, including those used in its Android and Windows Phone 7 smartphones, had not infringed on patents owned by FlashPoint.

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