On a day to day basis, there probably aren’t that many tech heads diligently following rulings coming from the International Trade Commission. Still, Friday’s ruling should make all gadget-files sit up and take notice.
Judging by how the buzz is just starting to heat up its pretty apparent that Friday’s ruling from the ITC did not get the notice it should have. The ITC awarded Apple a victory against HTC, saying that indeed the company had infringed upon two of Apple’s patents. The ruling, however could have much farther reaching implications that first thought, because the two patents that Apple has now been credited with holding exclusive rights to are apparently an “integral part of the Android architecture” rather than modifications that were solely placed in phones produced by HTC.
What does this mean for the millions of loyal Android users who are most likely looking at phones like the HTC EVO 3D as their next purchase? Basically it means you better hurry out and get them before December rolls around, because at that point, it appears that ALL Android phones will no longer be able to be sold, at least as they are currently being produced. The final ruling will come in December, but there seems to be little reason to believe that the ITC would change their minds over the next five months and that leaves Google one of two choices.
Either Google could choose to pay Apple for the use of the software that they hold the patents for, or they could choose to completely change the way the Android phones are put together. While paying their competitors a fee in order to continue to compete with them might seem a little backwards, the practice is not unheard of. Still, Google may not want to see Apple actually reaping the benefits of Google beating them in sales and may choose to change their architecture. Of course this second choice could prove time consuming and costly. Whatever Google decides to do, it seems apparent that barring a stunning reversal, Android phones and devices are going to change. Considering that the Android Market was recently upgraded to be more user friendly and there are still devices on the horizon like the Kyocera Echo, this ruling has to have heads steaming at Google’s main headquarters.