HTC fends off Apple in UK over "slide to unlock" patent

A High Court in the U.K. has ruled that HTC did not infringe on Apple's photo management patent, while stating that three other patents Apple claimed in the lawsuit were invalid, according to HTC.

The three patents declared invalid, include Apple's "slide to unlock" feature, which Apple alleged HTC had infringed on in its smartphones and tablets.

A multi-touch software that Apple had claimed certain HTC devices using Android 2.3 had infringed on was also found not to be patentable, with the Judge declaring it to be computer program.

" HTC is pleased with the ruling, which provides further confirmation that Apple's claims against HTC are without merit," the company said in a statement. "We remain disappointed that Apple continues to favor competition in the courtroom over competition in the marketplace."

Apple could not be immediately reached for comment.

The ruling, which was issued on Wednesday, gives HTC a victory as the company faces ongoing patent battles with Apple across different countries.

Both companies are fighting legal battles against each other in the U.S., and have sought for import bans on products allegedly infringing on their patents. Shipments of HTC smartphones to the U.S. were recently delayed, as a result of a ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission that went in favor of Apple. Apple was denied an emergency ban on HTC phones earlier this week by the U.S. International Trade Commission. ITC said it found that Apple had not demonstrated the propriety of temporary emergency action.

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