The staff of the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has recommended that HTC and Nokia shouldn’t be found liable of infringing upon Apple patents. Bloomberg reports that Erin Joffre, a lawyer for the staff that acts on the behalf of the public as a third party in the case, made the staff’s position known at the start of an ITC trial in which Apple is seeking to block imports of Android-powered HTC phones as well as some made by Nokia. “What makes Apple products so successful is not just what you see, but what’s under the hood,” said Apple lawyer Greg Arovas of Kirkland & Ellis during his opening arguments. Arovas described the patents in question as important for the “seamless integration of hardware and software” in smartphones. HTC lawyer Robert Van Nest of Keker & Van Nest countered, saying that “HTC is a smartphone innovator and pioneer in the smartphone sphere—they were there long before Apple. The fundamental differences from the Apple patents represent choices made by HTC and Google.” The Judge in the case, Carl Charneski, is expected to release his findings on August 5.