HTC ready to negotiate with Apple over patent infringement


HTC has told Reuters it is willing to negotiate with Apple to clear up the pair’s legal battle, but has emphasized the terms of any settlement should be “fair and reasonable.”

In an interview with the news wire, HTC’s Winston Yung admitted that the Taiwanese phone maker had even been talking to Cupertino based Apple before the initial ICT determination was made, a week and a half ago.

Those informal discussions have become all the more critical for HTC now, however, with the ICT’s judgment potentially able to prevent the firm from continuing to sell Android phones in the US. Worse still, the judgment could have a knock-on effect and set a precedent to be used against other Android phone manufacturers.

HTC is, of course, appealing the ICT’s decision, but whether the last ditch effort will work, remains to be seen, leaving HTC no other option than to negotiate with Apple in case all turns sour.

That doesn’t mean Apple holds all the chips, however, as HTC has a $300 million ace up its sleeve, in the form of newly acquired S3 graphics. S3 has its own ICT wins over Apple, and a plethora of patents HTC can now leverage.

Lording patents over one another is not to everyone’s tastes, however, with Google publicly going on record to call the recent spates of legal action a “mutually assured destruction scenario,” expensive to all involved and “gumming up the works of innovation.”

Google’s general counsel Kent Walker also went as far as putting a curse on both houses by declaring, “it’s not good form” to buy firms simply to hit others with patent hammers.

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sylvie barak