Apple Wins Key Chicago Intellectual Property Ruling in Android Case

Technology giant Apple recently won a key ruling in a case regarding the software in some of HTC's Android smartphones, CNNMoney reports.

Issues of intellectual property in Chicago are critical because protecting your ideas is the only way to run a successful business. This is especially true in the world of technology, which is constantly changing and improving.

Our Chicago small business lawyers understand that protecting your company is critical in surviving the market in which you are competing. Often, these matters require litigation in order to fix an issue that is a result of theft of ideas.

In this case, the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled in Apple's favor that the software used in some of HTC's Android smartphones violated a provision of Apple's patent. The ruling means that some of those phones will no longer be allowed in the United States.

Apple officials had hoped for a broader ruling, which bans HTCs phones in April. That gives the company time to figure out how to fix the phones without the Apple-patented software.

CNN reports that Apple had hoped for a "knockout punch" ruling that it didn't get from the commission. Analysts said that a "data tapping patent" was at issue, an invention that marks up phone numbers or other formatted data in emails, for instance, and allows users to bring up other programs that process the data. This is common when a user brings up a phone number from a website and it automatically brings up the phone dialer function to dial the phone number.

The CNN article reports that the ban won't affect HTC phones that don't have the feature or phones that implement it in ways that avoid the Apple patent. It's possible Google can implement the feature without using the Apple patents. If so, the ban will have little or no effect on the companies.

Obviously, the fight among smartphone companies is highly competitive. These phones are constantly changing and becoming more technologically advanced by the year. With millions sold each year and the products costing hundreds of dollars, the companies that design these machines are making a ton of money. They will go to great lengths to protect the technology that has made them successful.

Protecting ideas and patents is critical to ensuring a business survives. The reason that patents are registered and made public is so companies can check to make sure others aren't stealing their ideas. If everything were private, these patents could be stolen or sold improperly from business to business.

But, still, companies often try to skirt the rules and take credit for ideas that aren't there own. This can potentially sink a successful company if another business is able to get away with taking this information.

That's where an experienced Chicago intellectual property law firm becomes valuable. In protecting your small business from other competitors and larger businesses that attempt to run people out of the market, it's possible that bringing a lawsuit will be the only way to successfully defend against these unlawful acts.

Jeremy A. Gibson & Associates is a law firm dedicated to business litigation in Chicago and elsewhere in Illinois. Call 877-452-4529 for a free consultation.