HTC recently became the latest target in Apple‘s long line of patent battles. And now, the Taiwanese handset maker, which produces some of the most popular Android-based smartphones, says it’s willing to negotiate a deal.
“We have to sit down and figure it out,” said Winston Yung, chief financial officer for HTC, who spoke with Bloomberg. “We’re open to having discussions.”
Earlier this month, Apple won a massive legal victory over HTC when an International Trade Commission judge decided that HTC had infringed on two of Apple’s patents, one of which related to data detection technology used with Android; the other, a data-transmission system. This case is still subject to review.
HTC has triumphed over Apple, as well. The company acquired S3 Graphics for $300 million, less than a week after S3 won two key patent disputes against Apple, to give it more leverage.
“We are open to all sorts of solutions, as long as the solution and the terms are fair and reasonable,” Yung continued. “On and off we’ve had discussions with Apple, even before the initial determination [against HTC] came out.”
It’s not entirely certain that Apple will negotiate. As patent expert Florian Mueller points out, Apple could agree to a partial patent license, which would enable HTC to “continue to sell Android-based products,” though the products “could be limited and there might be substantial degradations of the user experience.”
Ryan Kim of GigaOm notes that Apple isn’t interested in making money off of patent licensing, they are interested in protecting their iPad and iPhone brands, “which are now its dominant businesses.”
“What Apple wants to do is either stop these Android devices that infringe on its IP from even hitting the market or force them to undergo crippling work arounds that degrade the experience,” writes Kim. “…So unless HTC can bring more heat to bear with the S3 patents and Apple can’t figure a way around them, I don’t see Apple making a big effort to talk at this point.”
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