HTC Ready to Negotiate with Apple Over Patents

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HTC chief financial officer Winston Yung said his company wants to negotiate with Apple to settle their patent legal battle. The two companies have been duking it out in court over claims that they are infringing on each other’s mobile device-related patents.

“We have to sit down and figure it out,” Mr Yung told Bloomberg. “We’re open to having discussions.”

HTC to Apple: Let's talk!HTC says it wants to negotiate with Apple over patents

Apple recently won a ruling with the U.S. International Trade Commission that says HTC is infringing on two of its patents, which could potentially lead to an import ban on at least some of HTC’s Android-based smartphones and tablets. HTC, however, is purchasing S3 Graphics and the company’s two patents that Apple was ruled to be violating.

Both rulings must still go through the ITC’s approval process, so either could be dropped at some point. In the case of Apple’s patents, the ITC has set a target date of December 6, 2011.

Following the ITC’s ruling in favor of Apple, HTC representatives said the company “will vigorously fight these two remaining patents through an appeal before the ITC commissioners who make the final decision.”

Negotiating with Apple seems to be part of those vigorous fight plans. “We are open to all sorts of solutions, as long as the solution and the terms are fair and reasonable,” Mr. Yung said.

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15 Comments Leave Your Own

Intruder

Just had a flash of Catherine Zeta-Jones in Zorro…

aardman

This is why you don’t mouth stupid fighting words at the outset of a business dispute.  You look like the biggest fool when you decide to start negotiating or worse, just fold.  And that goes for you too, Acer.

skipaq

It will be interesting to see Apple’s response and what follows from the other handset makers. Not to mention Google given their blubbering of late about patent monopolies.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

And in the case of HTC’s patents, the date is November 1, 2011. I hope HTC has the stones to hold out until then. The only way to put an end to bullying is to punch the bully square in the face.

The thing favoring HTC here is that the S3 patents are already widely licensed. Apple should have known better, or perhaps should have invented its own technology rather than copying S3’s.

Nemo

Even if all of Apple’s patent claims expired on 11 November 2011—and I am not saying that they do, because I haven’t checked—HTC and all other makers of similarly infringing Android devices would owe Apple huge sums for past and ongoing infringement.

daemon

would owe Apple huge sums

Yes… “huge.” How much was Apple ordered to pay for stealing the intellectual property of another company and using it for years in the most popular and best selling personal media device that has quite possibly ever existed and accounts for the majority of the $70 billion they have in the bank?


I’m just curious what the value of a patent is…

barryotoole

“The only way to put an end to bullying is to punch the bully square in the face.”

I agree with you. I don’t blame Apple for always getting the short end of the stick. Shame on you, HTC.

webjprgm

The thing favoring HTC here is that the S3 patents are already widely licensed. Apple should have known better, or perhaps should have invented its own technology rather than copying S3?s.

Unless it’s a case of blatant ripoffs, I don’t buy this “_____ should have invented its own technology rather than copying _____’s” argument (choose any two companies to fill in the blanks).  S3 patents cover image compression technology.  Do you think Apple intentionally copied S3’s algorithm, or is it more likely they just had to invent something similar that turned out to be similar enough to violate a patent?  There just isn’t enough wiggle room in software to make a complex product without touching someone else’s patent.

They should probably just cross-license and be done with it.  But I’m really afraid for all the smaller players, and it’s for their sake and the sake of innovation (small start-ups drive a lot of innovation, and so have individual iOS/Android app developers) that I think the patent system needs fixing.

FWIW, I have no problem with Samsung copying the general UI of iOS as long as it’s not too close of a copy. There are only so many ways to make a smartphone OS.  Yeah, they probably should have innovated and made their own. BlackBerry, HP/Palm, and Microsoft are all doing this, and it’s getting some interesting stuff (though not yet too successful).  But Apple is better able to execute their platform than Samsung anyway, so I doubt their devices will beat out Apple’s, and if they do then it means Apple seriously messed up and fell behind.  Competition is good.  Direct copying is not, because it’s not fair (e.g. all the iPod clones back in the day, which confused people into thinking they were buying a real iPod at a cheaper price).  But since the line is a little fuzzy, I won’t complain that Apple and Samsung want to fight over it a little either.

wab95

How much was Apple ordered to pay for stealing the intellectual property of another company and using it for years

Theft? I had not heard that anyone had accused, let alone a court convicted, Apple of IP theft. When and by what court was Apple convicted, and from whom did they steal?

Clearly, you are not referring to patent infringement or violation; such as the 08 July jury ruling in favour of Personal Audio that Apple’s iPod violated two of their patents related to dowloadable play lists. There is a world of difference between patent infringements/violations, which are prohibited acts related to a patented invention without the permission of the patent holder (the damages for which one may be sued), and theft, which is a criminal act for which one will go to prison, if caught.

Apple has been the victim of theft, both industrial and petty.

Seriously, daemon; to what theft do you refer, or did you mean a patent violation?

 

The only way to put an end to bullying is to punch the bully square in the face.


Agreed. As Apple is now the world’s most sued tech company, perhaps it is taking this advice to heart by fighting back in the courts for its own IP, as in the case with HTC.

As for Apple vs HTC, as is often pointed out in this forum, an out of court settlement is not necessarily an admission of intent to violate, but a sober and practical reading of the tea leaves, coupled with a desire to cut losses, return to ensuring profitability and preserving market confidence in the company. For these Android OEMs, given their margins, nothing could be more practical.

daemon

@wab95

Your distinction is irrelevant. Corporations are incapable of serving prison terms.

wab95

Your distinction is irrelevant. Corporations are incapable of serving prison terms.

Really?

Not only have companies in the US been sentenced to prison for illegal activity, individuals within the corporation who authorise illegal activity can also be imprisoned.

The distinction is demonstrably not irrelevant. So, again, I ask you, what theft?

daemon

@wab95

Allegheny Bottling Company did not spend even an hour in prison. Even the concept of incarceration that the judge was attempting to inflict upon Allegheny Bottling Company was suspended, ie. not served.

And why do you bring up red herrings like individuals who are not corporate entities serving prison sentences for crimes they commited?

Apple commited theft, was convicted, and senteced according to our laws.

wab95

Apple commited theft, was convicted, and senteced according to our laws


This is the piece in which I am interested. When and by whom was Apple convicted of theft? What did Apple steal and from whom? A citation or link will suffice. Many thanks.

daemon

Case number 2:07-cv-00021-CE in the Eastern District of Texas

wab95

Case number 2:07-cv-00021-CE in the Eastern District of Texas


Many thanks, daemon.

One of the links to this case number is the ‘Infinite Loop’ piece by Jacqui Cheng titled, ‘Apple found guilty of willful patent infringement’. The company was ordered to pay $19M to Opti, Inc for technology that transfers data among the CPU, RAM, etc. Apple had contended that the patent should have been declared invalid due to prior art and obviousness, but was clearly unsuccessful in persuading the court.

Wilful patent infringement? Yes.

Theft? No.

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