The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has tossed out five Google patents assigned to High Tech Computer in support of its legal complaint against Apple, dealing a blow to the Taiwanese smartphone maker's court dispute to stop the import of the iPhone, iPad and other Apple products into the country for alleged patent infringement.
The ITC rejected an investigation of the five former Google patents, said HTC spokeswoman Jessica Pan on Tuesday.
"We believe the judge's decision is erroneous as a matter of law and will appeal the ruling to the Commission," the company added in a statement. "We look forward to presenting our case on the remaining patents to the judge at trial later this year."
Last August, HTC filed a complaint with the ITC against Apple, alleging that the company was infringing on three of its patents. HTC then amended its complaint a month later to include five other patents transferred from Google, which developed the Android OS used in many of the Taiwanese company's smartphones.
The loss of the patents gives a minor victory to Apple, which has filed many of its own patent infringement lawsuits against various Android smartphone makers, including HTC.
In response, HTC has been trying to build up its intellectual property portfolio. Last year, the company completed a US$300 million acquisition of graphic chips maker S3 Graphic, giving HTC access to 235 patents.