Whoa. Apple just won a big court victory against HTC that could force HTC to stop selling its Android phones in the United States. The United States International Trade Commission ruled that HTC was infringing on a system level patent that effects HTC Android devices running Android 1.6 to 2.2.
The devices in question is basically a who’s who list of Android phones: Droid Incredible, Evo 4G, T-Mobile G2, Nexus One and a bunch of older Android devices. The patent that the courts ruled HTC was infringing on (#5,946,647) is supposedly, according to The Verge, “a system level patent issued in 1999 on analysing and linking data structures”. That’s huge because it could mean Apple could go on to attack other Android phone makers because it’s the OS that’s infringing the patent, not the hardware.
The ban on HTC Android phones in the US is set to take into effect on April 19, 2012. There are still some moves left for HTC but this is sure setting up for a major war between Apple and Android phone makers. [Bloomberg via The Verge]