HTC hasn't been having the best time bringing ITC disputes against Apple, and the situation just got a bit more glum. Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender has ruled that HTC can't use the patents it borrowed from Google to challenge Apple's products, as the Taiwan phone maker hasn't properly acquired all the necessary rights. If the decision is upheld after the (possible) appeal, it cuts the amount of ammunition for HTC's second complaint by more than half: only three of the eight patents will hold up. The One X designer can still try to appeal or get Google involved, and Apple still can't rest easy knowing that just one patent infringement verdict would be bad news. Even so, the ruling does take a considerable amount of sting out of the ITC case as-is -- and at a time when Apple is ramping up its own complaints.