Though they had until April of next year to figure out a fix for their patent-infringing UI feature, HTC CEO Peter Chou has reaffirmed to the media that the company has already has a solution ready to go at a joint press conference with Google’s Mobile SVP Andy Rubin.
As Jordan mentioned yesterday, the patent in question deals with the ability to tap a phone number or an address within an email to bring up the corresponding application. Chou pledged that the offending UI flourish would be removed from all of their mobile devices “soon,” and Reuters reports that the company is testing their new devices for compliance with the ITC’s ruling.
Rubin also chimed in on the matter, stating that the feature that supposedly infringed Apple’s patents isn’t a core part of how Android works, but rather a “user interface feature” that has been baked into an application. Hopefully this means that Google will be able to work around it as quickly as HTC has, unless they want their other hardware partners to undergo the same legal scrutiny.
For now it looks like things are quieting down on this front, but somehow I don’t expect things to stay that way. Andy Rubin would probably agree: looking forward, Rubin says he is optimistic about the scores of mobile patent squabbles eventually giving way to a “patent peace on the overall platform,” but he expects these sorts of intellectual property battles to drag on for a few more years.
Meanwhile, HTC’s Chou seems a bit more miffed by the goings-on in the mobile space, and by Apple’s legal maneuvers in particular.
“This industry should not allow one company use its powerful weapon to stop other innovation and take it all… this is not fair,” he said.