Apple’s patent infringement suit against HTC Corp. will be reviewed by a U.S. trade agency that has the power to block imports of the Taiwanese company’s phones and new tablet computers, reports “Bloomberg” (

The International Trade Commission (ITC) said it will investigate Apple’s accusations that HTC infringed five patents related to software architecture and user interfaces in portable electronic devices, hardware for touch screens and movement sensors. Notice of the decision was posted on the agency’s website today.

Last month HTC sued Apple in the UK. The complaint, filed in London, came two weeks after HTC lost a ruling against Apple at the ITC. The agency ruled on July 15 that HTC’s Android-based mobile phones infringe two Apple patents, a judgment that HTC has said it will appeal.

However, HTC has said it’s willing to negotiate with Apple after both sides scored earlier victories at the ITC. On July 6 HTC announced an US$300 million deal to buy S3 Graphics, less than a week after that company won an ITC ruling against Apple over two patents. In a July 15 initial determination, the same commission ruled in Apple’s favor on two other patents.

Regarding the latter, the US trade commission said that HTC was guilty of violating two Apple patents when it produced mobile phones based on the Android operating system. Apple had filed a complaint against HTC for infringing ten of their patents.

— Dennis Sellers