The US International Trade Commission has said Apple did not violate HTC’s mobile patents after HTC lodged a complaint against Apple last month.
The Wall Street Journal reports the ITC issued its initial determination saying Apple did not infringe HTC’s patents relating to technology for searching and dialling phone numbers and methods for managing power consumption.
HTC could still appeal the case, however.
"This is only one step of many in these legal proceedings," HTC general counsel Grace Lei said in a statement.
"We are confident we have a strong case for the ITC appeals process and are fully prepared to protect our intellectual property."
This filing was its third complaint against Apple, as it has sued the company before in the UK and the US. This most recent complaint followed HTC’s purchase of technology patents from Google.
It’s the latest of many legal disputes between mobile companies relating to smartphone patents. Samsung and Apple are embroiled in lawsuits around the world, both claiming their mobile patents have been infringed.
Microsoft has also claimed Motorola infringed seven of its patents shortly after Google acquired Motorola Mobility.