“Apple and HTC are going head-to-head currently over patent infringement, and the former has won its first victory in court where it has been determined that HTC has improperly used Apple’s IP in some of its Android smartphones,” James Kendrick reports for ZDNet. “This has brought Apple and Android to an important crossroad that will likely impact the mobile segment for a long time.”
“HTC is in a very vulnerable position having a court already ruled against it, so it must count on negotiating a license agreement with Apple to keep producing Android phones,” Kendrick reports. However, “Apple is not in the business of licensing its technology, and the company is in such a strong financial position there is really no reason for it to do so. HTC is probably ready to hand over a billion dollars or so to make the Apple situation go away, but this money won’t really impact Apple’s core business. There is a mistaken belief that companies like Apple must license their patented technology to competitors, but that’s not the case. Apple could simply tell HTC no deal, and get injunctions to stop them from producing any Android devices in the future.”
“If Apple puts HTC out of the Android device business, its next order would likely be to go after Samsung… [by filing] infringement suits for the same Android technology it has successfully defended in court against HTC. That would almost be a slam-dunk,” Kendrick writes. “With the top two Android device makers out of play, the platform would be in serious trouble. That is when Apple might finally go directly after Google for developing the infringing Android platform. However this shakes out it is going to be a bumpy ride for Android device makers. Apple was brilliant to go after them and not Google, as it keeps the platform under a dark cloud for a longer period.”
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