After the separate International Trade Commission rulings in the beginning of the month, HTC is now ready to negotiate some terms of agreement with Apple. The ITC ruled that Apple is violating two S3 Graphics patents regarding compression technologies, whereas HTC was deemed to violate two of Apple’s own patents by the same court. HTC acquired S3 Graphics for $300 million not long ago precisely as a patent play against Cupertino.
Now the Taiwanese want to seriously talk it out and move along with life, as per Winston Yung, HTC’s Chief Financial Officer: “We have to sit down and figure it out. We’re open to having discussions. We are open to all sorts of solutions, as long as the solution and the terms are fair and reasonable. On and off we’ve had discussions with Apple, even before the initial determination came out.”
HTC is already paying royalties to Microsoft for their mobile patents, to the tune of $5 per each Android handset it makes, and it might now have to throw some cash the Apple way too, unless these two tit-for-tat violations mutually destruct in court. If HTC has to pay, we don’t know if this will be significant enough to affect HTC’s handset prices in some way, or the difference will be negligible enough for the Taiwanese to absorb in their profit margin.
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