HTC and Apple are writing a public saga worthy of Tolkien. Even though HTC has made it known that they are receptive to making a deal with Apple, they are still planning on escalating their legal battle with them.
According to Reuters, the Taiwanese smartphone producer HTC is sticking to its decision to appeal an International Trade Commission (ITC) panel’s preliminary ruling in their patent battle with Apple Inc, a top HTC executive said on Wednesday.
This comes after HTC leadership said yesterday that cutting a deal with Apple was an option that is on the table.
The Chief Financial Officer for HTC, Winston Yung, told Reuters Wednesday that his firm has not yet hammered out a deal with the patent sensitive Apple, but he wouldn’t rule one out.
“We are going to appeal. We are confident that we have a strong case,” said Yung.
The ITC handed down a preliminary ruling that said HTC was in violation of two of Apple’s precious patents.
The commission now has to rule on whether or not it will maintain or reverse its administrative judge’s verdict.
If the ruling is upheld, it is possible that HTC would not be able to sell their products in the U.S., which makes up a hefty 50 percent chunk of its sales. Such a ruling would surely make the folks at Apple jump for joy, as it would effectively eliminate a competitive thorn in their side.
HTC is still waiting for the commission’s full opinion as well as analysis from the judge, Yung said. HTC, the world fifth biggest smartphone maker, has plans for an appeal after looking the material over, they expect a final decision from the panel by December 6, he said.
As we reported yesterday, analysts think that HTC might get a legal boost after its purchase of U.S. smartphone technology firm S3 Graphics, which gained a victory in a patent smack down against Apple earlier this month.
The introduction of smartphone technology to the market has led to several cases of patent litigation. Apple has also filed legal complaints against Samsung Electronics. It’s a business tool that has suited them well.
HTC’s shares were down 0.62 percent at one point Wednesday. Their shares have been pushed down as far as 30 percent below their peak in April due to investor worries about stiff competition from Apple, and legal concerns.