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HTC Looking to Strike Deal, Google and Apple Likely to Drive Up Price of Patent Acquisitions


Bloomberg reports that HTC has expressed willingness to strike a deal with Apple in the patent dispute between the two companies that has seen Apple score an initial victory in front of the U.S. International Trade Commission while HTC has increased its firepower by acquiring a company that had already won a decision against Apple.
“We have to sit down and figure it out,” Winston Yung, chief financial officer of the Taoyuan, Taiwan-based company, said by phone today. “We’re open to having discussions.”

HTC on July 6 announced a $300 million deal to buy S3 Graphics Co., less than a week after that company won an ITC ruling against Apple over two patents. In a July 15 initial determination, the same commission ruled in Apple’s favor on two other patents.

“We are open to all sorts of solutions, as long as the solution and the terms are fair and reasonable,” Yung said. “On and off we’ve had discussions with Apple, even before the initial determination came out.”
Meanwhile, Bloomberg notes in a separate report that the battle between Apple and Google in the patent market is continuing to heat up following Apple's $2.6 billion contribution to a consortium that outbid Google to obtain Nortel's patent portfolio for a total of $4.5 billion. The new report indicates that with Google and Apple both considering bidding for the patent assets of mobile technology firm InterDigital, the eventual sale price for that company may come at a 50% premium over its already-high levels.
InterDigital, whose engineers invented some of the technology for high-speed mobile phone networks now used by the world’s biggest handset makers, has gained $1.4 billion since saying last week it hired banks to explore options including a sale. The $3.2 billion company, based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, may cost more than $5 billion, Algorithm Capital and Dougherty & Co. said. That would be the most expensive deal in the wireless equipment industry relative to earnings in more than a decade, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
InterDigital holds 8,800 patents, about 15% of which are said to be related to mobile phone technologies and some of which have not been licensed, which increases their value. Some analysts have said that those wireless patents may indeed be worth more than Nortel's 4G LTE patents included in the package sold to the Apple consortium.

Top Rated Comments

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39 months ago
I know this is important to the industry, but is anyone else sick and tired of this patent BS?
Rating: 16 Votes
39 months ago
This will set a precedence. Next: Samsung,Motorola,ZTE, Acer,etc.


Seriously, this guys cant even do a good job at copying Apple.
Rating: 8 Votes
39 months ago

This will set a precedence. Next: Samsung,Motorola,ZTE, Acer,etc.


Seriously, this guys cant even do a good job at copying Apple.


Have you read that article or just the headline? Because there's no factual evidence or cited sources in the article.
Rating: 8 Votes
39 months ago
HTC's willingness to negotiate shows just how weak their position is. Add to that the legal issues with Android, and you've got an entire ecosystem - OS, vendors, everything - built out of a house of cards.

Wasn't almighty Google supposed to step in and protect them? What happened to Schmidt's brave words?

Further, the S3 patents are small potatoes compared to why Apple is going after these copiers for. You can't equate S3 patents purchased by HTC to the two Apple patents that HTC is infringing on. All patents are not the same. It isn't trade 2 for 2. The question is *what* is patented. The ones Apple has are much harder to work around than HTC's purchased patents for compression.

More generally, the difference between Apple and almost everyone else is pretty simple: Everyone else uses patents to "negotiate" deals and get licensing royalties. Apple uses its patents to prevent the competition from copying Apple's ideas and inventions, so that Apple’s products can remain unique.

If it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone.

Will there be any negotiation? There shouldn't be. Does Apple want HTC offering copycat products?
Rating: 7 Votes
39 months ago

Or those that have patents would actually like to protect the integrity of their product(s) for which they apply.

If it isn't an iPhone .... it isn't an iPhone.

Can't blame them for trying to protect the things that make the iPhone and their other products unique.


Of course the patents in question don't have anything to do with the iPhone. Not that facts will change your mind.
Rating: 5 Votes
39 months ago
Apple has a lot of money, i just hope they don't use it all up on buying all the patents in the world
Rating: 5 Votes
39 months ago
Settlement is the best option. These patent disputes stifle marketplace competition, and ultimately, innovation. We as the consumers are the ones that ultimately suffer.
Rating: 4 Votes
39 months ago


The market rewards innovation. Apple has seen its sale go through the roof because of it. Patents exist and do protect truly innovative products, but most are highly derivative and makes patent portfolios an offensive weapon against another's products rather than a defensive weapon to protect one's products.


The market rewards innovation -- not the people who innovate. Think of it this way. Who makes more in a company: the person who invents the product or the person who sells it? It doesn't take long to find stories of someone who came up with something innovative without protecting it only to be out-maneuvered and out-spent by another company who essentially got the innovation for free.

What good is it for a company to innovate to have another company profit off of it? Good for the market, bad for the company.
Rating: 4 Votes
39 months ago
So its not about "Thinking Different" now, its about "Outbidding". That goes for Google, Apple, all of them. Its no longer about developing technology, its now all about buying patents.
Rating: 3 Votes
39 months ago
Keep in mind: Apple’s always the bad guy in the legal domain... even though Apple is the most-sued tech company, and even though Apple is clearly the innovator driving every other company in both smartphones and tablets :p (Seriously, nobody can deny that the iPhone changed everything, and that every other successful touch OS, despite having certain unique and worthy details, is an attempt to mimic the iPhone. Android, WebOS and Windows Phone 7 would simply not exist in anything like their current forms without Apple innovation that came first. Other foundations exist too, but Apple’s work is key industry-wide. Android fans should love Apple, if they like what Apple has done to reshape Android! (http://random.andrewwarner.com/what-googles-android-looked-like-before-and-after-the-launch-of-iphone/))
Rating: 3 Votes

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