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HTC Phones Cool Their Heels in US Customs Due to Ban
HTC was found to have infringed an Apple patent on “data tapping”

Shipments of two new HTC smartphones have been seized for inspection by US Customs because of the limited import ban Apple got from the International Trade Commission in mid-December.

HTC was found to have infringed an Apple patent on "data tapping." That's when you, say, tap on a phone number and the dingus dials it for you.

The Taiwan company wouldn't be in this predicament if it had followed through on its initial decision to just rip the functionality out. Instead it ultimately decided on a workaround and the customs people are checking to see if it's abiding by the rules.

That means that the HTC One X that AT&T just started selling out of shipments that beat the ban's April 19 enforcement date is now listed as "out of stock" and the HTC Evo 4G LTE that Sprint was to start selling this Friday has been put on hold. Sprint is taking pre-orders.

HTC says it hasn't a clue how long the customs inspections will take and that means its Q3 results could be impacted although the US market isn't the great rainmaker it was for HTC because of competition from Apple and Samsung.

HTC issued a statement saying, "We believe we have worked around our design and are now in compliance with the ITC ruling. We are cooperating with the US Customs to speed up the review process."

It's unclear if customs is testing every phone.

About Maureen O'Gara
Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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