HTC Seeks Deal with Apple, Still Paying Microsoft Royalties for Android Devices

Taiwan-based HTC is willing to do negotiations with the Apple over its patent infringement case, after both sides scored victories at the U.S. International Trade Commission.

“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.”

“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.”

HTC decided a few days ago to fully acquire the S3 Graphics for US$300 million to motivate Apple to negotiate, and protect its smartphones from the sale ban in theU.S.  The ITC already ruled that Apple has infringed two of S3 Graphics’ patents, hence placing HTC on an advantageous footing in terms of their negotiations. Before the ITC rules on the lawsuit, Apple has already launched a counter suit on July 8, details of which the ITC has put online.

 In March 2010, Apple filed a complaint with the U.S International Trade Commission against HTC, saying the handset maker violated 10 of its mobile patents. After a protracted delay, the ITC released an initial ruling earlier this month, saying that HTC did, in fact, violated two of Apple’s patents. This battle of HTC comes with the resignation of its Head of Innovation, Horace Luke.

Apple also filed two patent claims last year against Motorola, alleging their handsets including the Droid, Droid X and Droid 2, violate six patents dealing with ways users access the handsets. Apple claimed there is an infringement on patents of multi-touch and other touch screen-related technologies.  Another burden for Motorola is its facing the Microsoft’s allegations that the Motorola Droid line and other Android smartphones infringed nine of Microsoft‘s patents.

Both Apple and Microsoft sued Samsung as well. Apple filed a patent suit against Samsung with the ITC, seeking an injunction to prevent the Korean giant’s key Android smartphones and tablets from being imported into the United States. Complaints includes its handset is an Apple-created strategy, and that Samsung copied the hardware and designs.

While Microsoft has demanded Samsung to pay $15 for every Android based Smartphone it sells, the Redmond, WA-based company started targeting several Android handset makers last year. At the time Microsoft claimed that Android’s user interface and functionality infringed its patents. In addition, Microsoft signed a licensing deal with none other than HTC. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but HTC confirmed that “Microsoft will receive royalties” from the company.

Another battle for Google’s Android is its case against Oracle for patent infringement. It was said that Google’s scrap is over Android IP damages, of which Oracle claims $2.6 billion should be awarded to them. The latest filings are asking for $0.9 billion to $1.4 billion up front, plus 15 percent of Google’s Android ad revenues, which Google has said operates at a run rate of $1 billion each year. Oracle sued Google last year, claiming it is owed money for Google’s usage of Java in its Android operating system for smartphones and tablets which Google disagreed the claim.

About Maria Pila

Maria Pila is a Staff Writer For SiliconANGLE.