ITC denies Apple’s request for emergency import ban on 29 HTC devices

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) denied Apple’s emergency request to temporary detain all shipments of 29 different HTC devices at the U.S. border, including the EVO 4G LTE and the flagship One X smartphone, Bloomberg reports. Apple last week demanded an emergency import ban of HTC phones, arguing the Taiwanese vendor lied to Customs in order to free up shipments…

The ITC obviously wasn’t impressed, though this isn’t a setback for Apple.

As the trade agency continues investigating Apple’s enforcement complaint against HTC, Apple’s legal sharks simply need to be patient, explains patent expert Florian Müeller.

The denial of temporary emergency action is great news for HTC, but doesn’t represent a setback to Apple. Apple was being ambitious and aggressive by pushing for an immediate ban. But I’m sure Apple and its lawyers knew that this was not going to be easy.

I wouldn’t call it a long shot: given that HTC did not ask the ITC for an advisory opinion (it didn’t have to, but it should have), the ITC might have taught HTC and everyone else a lesson by being more willing than otherwise to grant emergency relief.

Apple spoiled HTC’s and Sprint’s launch plan for the One X smartphone when shipments were delayed at the Customs in May over an import ban order handed down by the ITC last year.

At question was Apple’s patent for a software feature that automatically detects phone numbers and email messages in text, enabling users to tap on these to automatically call a person or send an email message.

The Taiwanese manufacturer had successfully created a workaround solution so the customs eventually released the shipments. The search giant Google sided with HTC in its legal woes with Apple from the onset.

Yesterday, Samsung also confirmed it is now working with Google to create a strong opposition to Apple in an effort to force Cupertino into signing a licensing deal with them.

Cupertino has made more headway recently with its thermonuclear war on Android.

Just yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh rejected Samsung’s motion to stay the Galaxy Tab ban. Because Apple has already posted a $2.6 million bond to push the ban into effect, the decision means Samsung must stop selling its marquee tablet in the country.

Apple was also granted a preliminary injunction against Google-designed Galaxy Nexus smartphone. Samsung sought stay of order on sales ban and a judge is set to rule on this later today.

All told, Apple has already won court rulings that found Android devices to infringe seven of its technical and two of its design patents. Apple has used a bunch different patents to chase Android vendors and Google’s software has been found to be guilty of infringing upon eleven of them.

What do you think, should Apple pursue litigation and is Android really a stolen product, as Jobs allegedly put it?