December 20, 2011, 1:57 AM —
Don't believe the "knockout blow in patent war" type headlines: Apple won a rather minor patent victory against older versions of Android on HTC phones.
The patent concerned Apple's ability to discern phone numbers in unstructured documents and make the phone number clickable to dial. HTC phones running Android versions 1.6 to 2.2 will be banned from import starting in April 2012, although refurbished phones can be imported for warranty replacements until the end of 2013.
This could cause Android some trouble in further trials if a patent abuse pattern emerges. It will take Android developers a little time to work around the patent, or eliminate the feature. Apple will almost certainly not settle for money, because they're sitting on a ton of cash, and prefer to stop Android products in the market. Apple will have to file separate suits against other phone hardware makers and Android versions to take further advantage of this patent win.
My trusty 6310i could pick phone numbers out of SMS messages and give the option to call that number in circa 2002. The only winners here, as usual, are the bottom feeders^W^W lawyers.
When will this software patent nonsense stop?
Anomalous Cowturd on theregister.co.uk
Good for Apple
Fight on, Android and HTC
This is part of the patent fight that Steve Jobs promised to fight until his "last dying breath." So far, all that's happened is Android users will be updated to a changed OS, thanks to the patent court.