Apple Inc did not infringe patented technology owned by Android phonemaker HTC Corp, the U.S. International Trade Commission said on Friday, the latest ruling in the wide-ranging smartphone patent wars.
The complaint – one of several the two companies have filed against each other – is a proxy for the larger fight for market share between Apple’s products and Google Inc’s Android software for cellphones and tablets, many of which HTC makes.
Taiwan-based HTC had filed a complaint in 2010 accusing Apple of infringing five patents on technologies for power management and phone dialing.
It asked the ITC to bar some versions of Apple’s iPods, iPhones and iPads from being imported into the United States.
The ITC, a U.S. trade panel that investigates patent infringement involving imported goods, is a popular venue for patent lawsuits because it can bar the importation of infringing products and because its cases are ruled on quickly.
Apple and HTC have escalated their patent fights as Android phones have gained popularity.
Worldwide, Android-based smartphones have outpaced iPhones in terms of growth, rising from a tiny portion of the global market in 2009 to 50.9 percent share in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to Gartner Inc data.
The case is at the International Trade Commission, No. 337-721.