HTC to Apple: Let's make a patent deal

HTC to Apple: Let's make a patent deal

Summary: HTC's chief financial officer said it's time to work through its patent spat with Apple, but it's unclear that the maker of the iPhone and iPad has any interest.

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TOPICS: Legal, Apple, HTC
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HTC's chief financial officer said it's time to work through its patent spat with Apple, but it's unclear that the maker of the iPhone and iPad has any interest.

Winston Yung, CFO of HTC, told Bloomberg that the company is willing to negotiate with Apple as the two sides battle in the U.S. International Trade Commission over patents. Both sides have victories and HTC recently bought S3 mostly for the company's intellectual property.

S3 won an ITC ruling against Apple and HTC scooped it up quickly. Yung's comments indicate that HTC wants to talk now that it has S3 in the fold.

Also see: HTC: Pressure mounts to develop workaround to avoid Apple patents

In a logical world, you can easily predict where this is going. Apple and HTC could cross license patents, exchange a few dollars (HTC to Apple most likely) and the dispute could be put to rest. HTC already worked with Microsoft to settle any lingering patent issues that revolve around Android.

The big question is whether Apple would play ball. Apple doesn't appear to have much interest in licensing its intellectual property. And why should it? Those patents are part of Apple's secret sauce when it comes to hardware and software integration. If HTC's patent arsenal is strong enough it could get Apple to the negotiating table. For now it looks like HTC wants to chat. We'll see if Apple reciprocates.

Topics: Legal, Apple, HTC

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20 comments
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  • RE: HTC to Apple: Let's make a patent deal

    Chat with Apple ?
    AdnanPirota
    • RE: HTC to Apple: Let's make a patent deal

      @AdnanPirota Yes it seems so! Will be interesting to see the outcome of this matter. <a href="http://www.djs-wanted.net">DJ Jobs</a> <a href="http://www.dj-work.com">DJ Work</a>
      mrswilliamson
  • Seems like HTC sees the writing on the wall:)

    Just saying.....

    Pagan Jim
    James Quinn
  • HTC realise that it's better to work with Apple

    than working with those losers at Google
    iPad-awan
  • i like...

    ... mdn's take:
    "Apple ought to hold these copiers feet to the fire and make them an example to all of the other iPhone and iPad wannabe outfits."
    bannedfromzdnetagainandagain
  • HTC is willing to compromise

    unlike the bonehead Apple cyber-goons.
    This is despite the fact that Apple has no case against HTC or Android.
    Linux Geek
    • Message has been deleted.

      James Quinn
    • RE: HTC to Apple: Let's make a patent deal

      @Linux Geek

      So HTC (a publicly listed company) are going to throw shareholder's money at Apple when Apple doesn't have any case? That makes no sense
      the.nameless.drifter
      • RE: HTC to Apple: Let's make a patent deal

        @the.nameless.drifter
        that's merely to avoid the risk that an ignorant judge can rule against HTC.
        Linux Geek
    • RE: HTC to Apple: Let's make a patent deal

      @Linux Geek

      They're willingness to compromise is likely because they perceive it as the lessor of two evils.

      Apple's unwillingness to compromise would likely come from the fact they feel they'll win in the end and the winnings are worth seeing this through to the end.

      That's two for flinching, HTC.
      TroyMcClure
    • RE: HTC to Apple: Let's make a patent deal

      @Linux Geek Right because the ITC did not make a ruling that HTC violated 2 of Apple's patents... oh wait, that DID happen. SO then Apple DOES have a case against HTC. Ooops, didn't do your research again did ya? Besides you said you were boycotting ZDNet - so why are you still here?
      athynz
  • RE: HTC to Apple: Let's make a patent deal

    I see more value in Apple IP than HTC bought S3 IP. Apple can easily move away from S3 IP and whereas HTC can't with its current situation, they could, but that would be so expensive and time consuming. I don't think Apple would shell out its IP for HTC's S3 IP, but that is not impossible to do.
    Ram U
    • RE: HTC to Apple: Let's make a patent deal

      @Rama.NET No.... it's not impossible at all. If only everyone realized that those two S3TC software patents are at the crux of every Desktop GUI and Game UI out. They do not relate to the GPU directly. But rather the system graphics display engine in using the DirectX and OpenGL/ES API's to render texture compressed images within "tile based graphics" within the GPU.

      Which is used by every OS and modern game developer in coding their games on the planet. S3 having been bought by HTC from another of Cher Wang's (Billionaire HTC CEO) holdings (VIA Chips and motherboards) for $300 million, earns bucketloads of licensing fees from Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, Nvidia, etc et.... al...!

      The only reason HTC can step forward and publicly say "Let's talk" is if..... HTC believes they have leverage and despite iBloomberg's ignorant writer Susan Decker's interpretation of the Judge's decision, they wouldn't be claiming to have that leverage in public if they didn't!
      KronJohn
  • This could be positioning to avoid an ITC import ban

    Looking like it's willing to compromise might simply be stategy to convince the ITC to let it continue to sell it's products while the lawyers continue to wrangle.
    matthew_maurice
    • RE: HTC to Apple: Let's make a patent deal

      @matthew_maurice
      +1
      Ram U
    • As Google's Kent Walker said:

      @matthew_maurice

      "No one bids that kind of money without taking things seriously,"

      My guess is HTC sees a valuable proposition on the table by settling early like they did with MS. HTC got a $5/handset deal because they were willing to do this early. If they can repeat this, then HTC may end up with a $20/handset advantage over every other Android handset maker. This in turns means you can put in $20 more effort (or parts)/handset. This is HUGE.

      Apple then gets a "win" to go against other Android handset makers.
      Bruizer
      • RE: HTC to Apple: Let's make a patent deal

        @Bruizer

        It's kind of funny that this would be considered a competitive advantage for HTC. Don't get me wrong, I understand your thought process, but I'm just imagining HTC's shareholder call.

        CEO: Yeah, we've agreed to pay Apple $7 for every phone we sell, but that's actually a GOOD thing! This gives us a strategic advantage over the other 32,421 Android OEMs that HAVEN'T caved to Apple!

        Shareholder: WTF!?
        TroyMcClure
  • HTC is after Apple over S3TC Texture Compression IP

    and Apple has been found guily of patent violation:<br><br><a href="http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/07/01/s3_graphics_granted_partial_victory_in_patent_case_against_apple.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/07/01/s3_graphics_granted_partial_victory_in_patent_case_against_apple.html</a><br><br>Well play, HTC.
    Samic
  • Apple licensed some patents to Nokia

    It isn't unprecedented to have Apple license its technology to others although I agree, they would prefer to simply see the "offending" company disappear from that particular market.

    Make no mistake, this is about Apple wanting Android out of the smartphone market.
    toddybottom
  • Relax Andriod fans this is normal:)

    Apple is sued or sues. Then come the counter suits. Then more likely than not some settlement is made behind closed doors. In the end being along time Apple fan I hope the final deal does benefit Apple more. But in either case I'm not concerned all will be well and business will continue. As for you're anger towards Apple what is up with that!?! This kind of thing is par for the course and has been so as long as tech had existed. In fact if Apple had not sued it's own shareholders could have and likely would have sued Apple for not representing the shareholders interests. This is another fact of life that has happened in the past and someday soon you'll likely hear of it again. You're anger is best aimed at Google. After all if Google had taken the time to license IP and or provided OEMs with some sort of IP security then this would not be an issue for HTC but rather Google where it belongs.

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn