It appears as though the US International Trade Commission's ban on HTC Android devices last month wasn't quite the victory Apple was looking for. Apple has since challenged the ITC's final ruling with an appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. While the actual appeal papers aren't readily available at this time, we can assume Apple is taking issue with the scope of the ITC ruling. Apple was successful in banning the sale and importation of numerous HTC devices, but the administration of the ban was delayed several months, until April 19th. Perhaps more troubling to Apple, only one of the four patents originally asserted against HTC was held to be infringed. Apple would obviously like to bring one or more of those original patents back into the fold. The more patents Apple can successfully wield, the less likely it is HTC will be able to come up with a work-around to avoid the importation ban of its products.

You'll probably recall that HTC touted the ITC ruling as a victory as well, stating that the sole patent held to be infringed covered a "small UI experience" that could be completely removed from HTC phones. The infringed Apple patent — No. 5,946,647 — covers a device that scans computer text for data, like a phone number, and turns that number into a link that the user can then select to perform an act, like calling the number. It's not entirely clear that HTC is right to call this a small UI feature or when the company will remove the feature from its phones. Regardless, the folks in Cupertino would be much more satisfied if they could extend the infringement findings in the case by one or two more patents. We'll keep you updated as we learn more on the details of the appeal.