The lawsuit that Apple slammed HTC with is over and $100 million in legal fees later, Apple have nothing to show for it. Apple have been known to protect their design patents fiercely and in some instances, irrationally and for many who have been following the HTC lawsuit, the same thoughts ring, what exactly was Apple hoping to achieve through the lawsuit?
The lawsuit, which was lodged against HTC with the International Trade Commission, accused HTC of infringing on Apple’s design patents and more specifically stating that “the mechanism that allows phone numbers to be automatically highlighted and sent to the dialer app in Android violates Apple’s software patent.”
This was perhaps an attempt by Apple to have HTC smartphones banned from the US owing to the patent infringement. However, all it took was for HTC to disable the feature in the phones and through this were able to circumvent the loophole.
In addition, subsequent software updates from HTC were able to provide users with the same functionality but through a different means. Apple seem intent on fighting off competition by any means possible and this usually means the use of shareholder funds to perform stunts like this.
Apple has been involved in other similar lawsuits, most recently being a case against Samsung for the slide-to-unlock feature in the Galaxy Nexus, a feature Apple say they hold the patent for. This in addition to other lawsuits lodged and lost in Australia, Germany and Deutschland. It seems Apple are really feeling the heat as they find it harder and harder to maintain their prime perch on their ivory tower as the leading mobile and computer design company in the world.