Apple Notches Limited Win In HTC Smartphone IP Case

By Ryan Davis (December 19, 2011, 7:25 PM EST) -- In a ruling experts said is only a minor victory for Apple Inc., the U.S. International Trade Commission found Monday that HTC Corp.'s smartphones infringe a single Apple patent, and ordered a ban on imports of HTC's products beginning in April.

The ruling marks the first time one of the numerous patent suits involving smartphone makers in the U.S. has reached a conclusion. However, the ruling is limited in scope and will not give Apple much leverage in its overall patent assault on phones that use Google Inc.'s Android operating system, experts said.

"This decision falls far short of what Apple...

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