Even though the great Innovator Steve Jobs is not with us any more but the stars are shinning for Apple.Reuters reports that Apple has won another patent battle with the Taiwanese handset maker HTC when the ITC judge ruled in favour of Apple.This will come as a relief to the Cupertino, California company as competitor HTC in May of last year asked ITC to ban the importation of iOS devices into the United States.
The development follows news that Samsung asked the courts to stop sales of the iPhone 4S in both Japanese and Australian markets after Apple last week successfully bared Samsung from selling Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia. Samsung’s chief operating officer Lee Jae-yong – also son of Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee and heir apparent to the group’s leadership – met with Apple CEO Tim Cook following a private memorial service held for Steve Jobs at Stanford University, to which Kun-hee had been invited.
An ITC administrative law judge found “no violation” by Apple of four HTC patents that include technologies for power management and phone dialing.
He told reporters that Samsung should “maintain a healthy partnership with Apple”, adding the two companies should also “compete fiercely but fairly”. Industry sources from told Korean Times said that Apple’s been in talks with Samsung over shipment of its A6 quad-core chip for iPad 3 and iPhone 5, indicating Samsung’s importance in Apple’s supply chain as the South Korean conglomerate remains a critical business partner even though Apple- Sammy relationship doesn’t sound that healthy at present.As for the Apple vs. HTC saga…
Some watchers were wondering whether Apple made a grave mistake messing with HTC, which is owned by the powerful Taiwanese conglomerate Formosa Plastics Group. In addition to HTC, Formosa Plastics Group also owns VIA Technologies which sued Apple over three patents related to microprocessors in tablets and smartphones. Formosa Plastics Group recently transferred ownership of S3 Graphics from VIA Technologies to HTC, which used those patents in conjunction with the Motorola patents Google transferred to them to countersue Apple.
Both HTC and VIA can draw on the expertise of nearly thirty companies in the Formosa Plastics Group. So it goes like this : If either of Taiwanese entities prevail in the court room, Apple could be forced into a pricey settlement – unless Formosa Plastics Group decides to use VIA as a leverage for other ventures and lawsuits.In June, AC Nielsen ranked HTC the second-largest smartphone maker in the United States and the nation’s second-best smartphone maker.
In addition, Taiwan’s External Trade Development Council and the Bureau of Foreign Trade named HTC the country’s leading technology brand, ahead of computer makers Acer and Asus. Android handsets, which comprise the biggest chunk of HTC’s sales and device portfolio, achieved Windows-type monopoly thanks to buoyant sales of HTC handsets in Taiwan beating Nokia in both sales volume and value.
Per unaudited third-quarter earnings, HTC’s profits and revenues almost doubled year over year, thanks in large part to strong Android phone shipments. If HTC is a big fish, Apple being the world’s leading smartphone maker is the king of the sea. Despite holding onto a tiny five percent share of the entire handset business, Apple actually controls a massive two-thirds of total operating profits in the handset business.
But HTC’s general counsel said to Cnet that “this is only one step of many in these legal proceedings,” and that, “we are confident we have a strong case for the ITC appeals process and are fully prepared to protect our intellectual property.”