London: Taiwanese manufacturer of smartphones and tablets HTC has been blocked from using five patents it secured from Google last year to sue tech giant Apple, according to a report.
A US judge upheld an argument put forward by Apple that HTC had not gained the necessary rights to use the patents in a dispute.
In August 2011, Google transferred nine patents to HTC.
The move was designed to help HTC counter-attack allegations that the Google-designed Android system installed on its phones infringed several of Apple''s patents, The BBC reports.
HTC subsequently amended an existing complaint it had already filed against Apple with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) to include five of the newly acquired patents.
According to the report, neither Google nor HTC ever disclosed the terms of their deal, but the ITC judge''s decision to reject the patent complaints ‘due to lack of standing’ suggested that he felt that whatever rights had been transferred to the Taiwanese firm were not enough to warrant their use.
Meanwhile, HTC has said that it would appeal the court’s decision.
“We believe the judge''s decision is erroneous as a matter of law and will appeal the ruling to the commission,” HTC said in a statement.
“We are confident in our ownership of the patents, and that Apple infringes our intellectual property. We look forward to presenting our case on the remaining patents to the judge at trial later this year,” the firm added.
First Published: Wednesday, June 13, 2012, 15:22