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We’ve been reporting on International Trade Commission decisions for what seems like forever, but it appears that one of them is finally making an impact -- two of HTC’s latest handsets are being “indefinitely delayed” by U.S. customs as the result of an ITC ban Apple won against the handset manufacturer late last year.
The Verge is reporting that the HTC One X and HTC Evo 4G LTE have both fallen victim to an import delay by U.S. Customs “for potentially infringing an Apple patent.” As a result, the new handsets have been “indefinitely delayed” until Customs can investigate the situation further.
The move is likely to come as bad news to Android lovers ready to wrap their fingers around these handsets -- the One X is currently out of stock from AT&T’s website and the situation appears grim as to when further units may arrive in retail stores.
The import delay is the result of a “wide-ranging exclusion order” won by Apple last December by the International Trade Commission (ITC), who found that “Android's messaging app and browser infringed upon Apple patent #5,946,647, which covers automatically converting things like phone numbers and email addresses into actionable links that open a menu of options.”
Although a ban of infringing devices was delayed while HTC could figure out a workaround, that delay ended on April 19. HTC has likely fixed the problem with the One X and Evo 4G LTE, but the ITC order is fairly broad and prohibits importation of any “personal data and mobile communications devices” made by HTC.
Needless to say, HTC isn’t very happy about the delay, but appears confident that Customs will move quickly to clear the blockade.
“The US availability of the HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE has been delayed due to a standard U.S. Customs review of shipments that is required after an ITC exclusion order,” the company said in an official statement. “We believe we are in compliance with the ruling and HTC is working closely with Customs to secure approval. The HTC One X and HTC Evo 4G LTE have been received enthusiastically by customers and we appreciate their patience as we work to get these products into their hands as soon as possible.”
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter