It has just been revealed that because of a previous patent dispute between Apple and HTC over Apple Patent #5,946,647, shipments of the HTC One X and Evo 4G LTE have been indefinitely delayed at customs pending investigation of said “patent infringement”, there’s no word yet on whether this will affect the May 18th release of the Evo 4G LTE or not yet, but hopefully enough have shipped through already to get the device where it belongs this Friday, with the customers. So, now the important part. Why the quotes around “patent infringement” because this, the first piece of tech news that has seriously made me angry in a long long while, has inspired a rant. Read on for my take on this, and a description of what the dispute is over.
I’ve written before about how Apple (and many other companies) patent things left and right, often things that would be patentable in any decent system. For instance: a lock screen where the user unlocks it using a slider on the touchscreen, a black rectangle, rounded squares, and now with #5,946,647, a system that brings up menu options of some sort when the user taps on a phone number.
But this isn’t an Apple rant, I can’t really blame Apple for patenting everything they possibly can, they have the right to try and do that.
However, the Patent Office is insane to allow these to pass, let alone allowing them to be enforced in a legal setting. When this kind of thing potentially delays the release of a phone who’s only crime is that of integrating a common sense feature, it’s gone way too far.
I’ll update this post as we get more news about the delays.
Source: [The Verge]