A UK court has decided that not only did HTC not infringe on four patents Apple brought against it, but three of them are invalid.
HTC was first to file in the UK, trying to invalidate patents that were already at issue in the firms' cases in Germany, but Apple quickly counter-sued over patents dealing with multi-touch, photo management, slide-to-unlock and changing alphabets on keyboards.
Judge Christopher Floyd said that the photo management patent was valid, but HTC wasn't infringing on it. The judge ruled that the three other patents were invalid – either because they were obvious, in the common knowledge or had been done before.
"HTC is pleased with the ruling, which provides further confirmation that Apple’s claims against HTC are without merit," a spokesperson told The Register in an emailed statement.
"We remain disappointed that Apple continues to favour competition in the courtroom over competition in the marketplace."
Apple said it had no additional comment other than its stock reply that "competitors should create their own technology, not steal ours".
HTC is still awaiting Germany's decision on the same patents in cases due to be heard later this year.
The Taiwanese firm is also facing legal machinations in the US, where Apple successfully brought a ban on another patent. HTC claims to have fixed the tech involved but the fruity firm has accused it of being less than honest. US regulator the International Trade Commission, launched an investigation into Apple's claims yesterday. ®