The UK High Court has dealt Apple a blow in its ongoing patent wars after ruling that Taiwanese manufacturer HTC does not infringe on four patents relating to a number of functionalities on its smartphone devices.
The four patents related to technologies including multi-touch gestures and its slide-to-unlock mechanism. However, in his ruling justice Christopher Floyd said HTC did not infringe on any of the technologies it uses on its devices.
Specifically, he said three of the patents were invalid, including the slide-to-unlock patent, while the fourth was not infringed. HTC welcomed the findings from the judge.
"HTC is pleased with the ruling, which provides further confirmation that Apple's claims against HTC are without merit," the firm said.
"We remain disappointed that Apple continues to favour competition in the courtroom over competition in the marketplace."
Apple had brought the case against HTC in response to a suit filed by the Taiwanese firm in the UK, which was launched to try and invalidate the same patents Apple is using to sue HTC with in Germany.
Apple refused to comment on the specific ruling but reiterated its stance that it believes its inventions are being stolen by rivals.
"We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours," a spokesperson told V3.
The ruling is another key victory for HTC after US courts ruled against granting Apple an emergency ban of the firm's devices into the US earlier this week, ahead of a case being heard there.
Apple has previously won cases on its slide-to-unlock patent, with a German court ruling in February that Motorola infringed on the function, providing Apple with the potential of banning the firms devices from sale in the nation.
Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal.