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US trade commission delays decision on HTC

Wants another week to decide if it's violating Apple's patents

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The US International Trade Commission seems to be having a tough time making up its mind whether HTC has violated Apple patents, postponing a decision due today until 14 December.

The ITC was supposed to give their ruling on the case today, but instead issued a statement (PDF) saying that it had decided to extend the target date by a week and a day.

Back in July, an ITC judge found that there had been a patent violation by HTC on two of the patents in the suit brought by Apple and subsidiary NeXT Software in the initial determination.

The full commission now needs to ratify or disagree with that call to bring the case to a close.

The ITC said (see PDF here) that in September that it was reviewing "several issues regarding each of the four asserted patents" brought in the case, both the two the first judge agreed with and the two he didn't find for.

The case is one of the many patent battles being fought around the world at the moment so that Apple, Android and Microsoft on the OS side, as well as phone manufacturers, can carve out their niche in the lucrative smartphone and tablet sector.

HTC, like most others, has had wins and losses in the courts, but in the marketplace, it's losing ground.

Last month, the company reviewed its fourth quarter forecast to no growth, "due to the global macroeconomic downturn and market competition".

However, the firm's CFO Winston Yung also said at the time that next year would bring better and more competitive products that they were feeling confident about.

Shares in HTC have fallen around 33 per cent since 17 November, as investors doubt whether the Taiwanese firm can regain the ground it has lost in the smartphone sector. ®

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