Fresh from a recent legal bruising after losing in court to Apple, HTC is testing its devices that use the patent at the centre of the disagreement as it seeks to avoid a ban on the sale of its phones.

Speaking at a media briefing at its headquarters in Taipei, HTC’s chairman Peter Chou told Reuters that it is looking at how its new models use the technology in line with a ruling that could necessitate the firm shipping altered devices next year.

Chou further commented that the feature, which reformats contact information data into a link, is “rarely used”, according to Bloomberg.

The ruling was made on the use of a “data tapping patent” which could see the International Trade Commission (ITC) introduce a ban on HTC devices from April 12 2012. All devices sold after this date must be tweaked to avoid breaching the patent, that’s unless the decision is overruled before then.

Fellow Android manufacturer Samsung has suffered such bans in a number of different countries, as Apple has aggressively pursued legal channels to clamp down on its Galaxy smartphones and tablets. However, the Korean firm got a huge boost this month after an Australian court revoked the ban on the sales of its Galaxy Tab in the country, just in time for Christmas.

Apple suffered another blow in Australia yesterday as figures from research firm IDC saw the Cupertino-based firm’s share of the smartphone market drop. Samsung replaced Apple at the top smartphone market, while Chinese firm Huawei — which also uses Android — snatched second place.