A Texas federal jury has found that consumer electronics company HTC did not infringe patents asserted by a former rocket scientist employed by the US government.
The US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas Marshall Division announced the decision on Friday, May 11.
In June 2017, California-based individual Joe Salazar filed a claim for patent infringement against HTC, alleging that the company had infringed US patent number 5,802,467, which covers “Wireless and wired communications, command, control and sensing system for sound and/or data transmission and reception”.
Salazar’s patent relates to an interactive microprocessor-based wireless communication device that can respond to voice signal commands.
According to Salazar’s claim, the HTC One M7, HTC One M8 and HTC One M9 smartphones infringed the patent.
The smartphones are Android or Windows-based phones that allegedly include “wireless communications, control and sensing systems” that allow the phones to communicate with other devices. They also feature a universal remote-control which can be used to operate various external devices.
Salazar claimed that HTC has had notice of the alleged patent infringement since September 1998 (when the patent was granted) and that he had suffered monetary loss as a result of the patent infringement.
“Defendants knowingly and specifically intended third parties to infringe the ‘467 patent’s claims,” the claim added.
HTC was represented by law firm Vinson & Elkins.
“We are very pleased with the jury’s verdict,” commented Fred Williams, co-chair of Vinson & Elkins’ IP practice. He added that Salazar is a “distinguished scientist” with a record of invention claims and public service.