The final step in building a successful and desirable Android smartphone seems to be going to court to defend it against Apple. Determined to keep their mind share with the American public (they've lost the market share long ago), Apple has renewed the fight against HTC and is once again asking for for enforcement (read -- let's hold them at the border where they can't be sold) over the "data tapping" hyperlink menu. HTC claims to have worked around the patent, but Apple wants an emergency proceeding to get the following devices banned from import into the US:

  • HTC One X
  • HTC One S
  • HTC One V
  • HTC Inspire 4G
  • HTC Vivid
  • HTC Status
  • HTC Sensation
  • HTC Sensation 4G
  • HTC Wildfire
  • HTC Wildfire S
  • HTC Hero
  • HTC Hero S
  • HTC EVO 4G
  • HTC EVO V 4G
  • HTC EVO Design 4G
  • HTC EVO 3D
  • HTC Amaze 4G
  • HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE
  • HTC myTouch 4G
  • HTC myTouch 4G Slide
  • HTC Rezound
  • HTC Rhyme
  • HTC ThunderBolt
  • HTC Flyer
  • HTC Jetstream
  • HTC EVO View 4G
  • Droid Incredible 2 by HTC

That's a hell of a list (but they forgot the original Dinc). It's worth noting that Apple says their patent covers any data that returns a menu of multiple actions -- like share, copy, or open in Web Browser. Like the one you'll probably see if you right click on any detected data in this post. I'm not even going to guess the outcome of this one.

But wait, there's more!

Apple has also tossed the Samsung Galaxy S III in with their complaint against the Galaxy Nexus, and are trying to have it stopped at the border as well. They claim the phones violate the same "data tap" patent, as well as slide to unlock, word completion, and methods of unified search. To keep things going in a timely fashion, Apple is limiting it's request for injunction to only the data tap patent and unified search patents, which they claim infringes on Siri. Apple realizes it's important to keep the Galaxy S III off the shelves come June 21. It worked once, might as well keep trying until a judge or other official tells them to stop.

This has moved beyond old rich guys fighting each other over what's in our wallets. Apple is determined to keep the American public from having what we want, and instead forcing their offerings on us all. Personal opinions aside, these sort of things are apt to be remembered, and Apple is heading down a very slippery slope. The biggest thing to remember is nothing is done until it's done, and any talk of bans and scare tactics from the usual suspects is still just that -- scare tactics. Remember that multi-billion dollar judgment many were sure Oracle was going to get ...

More:  FOSS Patents (1), (2)