The United States' International Trade Commission has confirmed a five-day delay to its decision on whether Apple's patents are infringed in HTC's smartphones.
An HTC official first reported the trade panel would make its decision on December 19, instead of Wednesday, December 14. The news was later confirmed by the ITC on its website.
No reason was given for the decision.
It is the latest of several delays to the decision, originally postponed from December 6.
The ruling is crucial for HTC, which has struggled with legal battles and stiff competition with Apple and Samsung, since it could result in a ban on the sale of HTC handsets in the US.
Apple and HTC both referred the case to the ITC after a US administrative law judge found the Taiwanese smartphone maker infringed two Apple patents.
It remains unclear how the ITC will decide in the case, though several have posited Apple is likely to be victorious on at least one patent.
"With no reason known, I recommend not to read anything into [the delay]," patent expert Florian Mueller said on his blog regarding the ITC's last postponement.
"It doesn't bode well or ill for any party. The ITC has a huge workload these days, and this is a case involving four distinct patents."
The suit is seen by some as a proxy for the larger fight for market share between Google's Android smartphones and tablets - many of which HTC manufactures - and Apple's product line.
Samsung, which also makes Android products, is locked in similar court fights with Apple.
(Reporting by Argin Chang; Writing by Faith Hung; Editing by Chris Lewis)
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