HTC, the ITC, and Apple are getting pretty familiar with each other these days. Apple has tried (and temporarily succeeded) to ban the import of HTC devices into the US and has filed another dispute with aims to halt sales of handsets such as the One X. Meanwhile, HTC has turned to Google for support in their own battle against Apple, but a judge just struck down the notion.
Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender has passed a ruling that says HTC may not use patents borrowed from Google in their suit against Apple, as the One series maker did not properly acquire the necessary rights. The move limits the patents HTC can use in an attempt to gain their own ITC ban of Apple products to three of the original eight. The next step would be to appeal the decision, but it looks likely that HTC will have to recruit Google to be a little more hands on in the process if the dispute is to move forward under its original terms. With less ammunition, HTC’s case will be all the more difficult to make.