“Patent battles are hard to price. As Samsung faces its second patent setback in a week after a German court ruled to block its “Galaxy Tab” tablet computer from being sold in parts of Europe, investors in upstart Taiwanese smart-phone maker HTC will surely be feeling a bit anxious about the company’s patent litigation battle with Apple as the two jockey for market share in the U.S.,” Paul Mozur blogs for The Wall Street Journal.
“HTC has repeatedly stated that the current litigation will have minimal impact on its business operations. But investors have been less sure and HTC shares have fallen 24.2% since July 4th,” Mozur writes. “For now, the trouble in assessing litigation risks stems from an inability to determine how punitive Apple will actually be if it wins a final ruling, expected to be made by the U.S. International Trade Commission in December, that HTC infringed on two of its patents having to do with the recognition and storage of email addresses and phone numbers. HTC lost a preliminary ruling on those patents on July 15.”
“Quite a few analysts believe Apple and HTC might come to a cross-licensing agreement that will cost HTC a fixed sum per handset. HTC has most likely already made provisions for such a settlement, these analysts say, and it would be unlikely to do excessive long-term damage to the company. Still, estimates for how much an agreement might cost HTC range widely, from less than US$5 per handset to US$13,” Mozur writes. “Some patent lawyers are less certain that Apple will so readily sign away the rights to prized intellectual property. Apple doesn’t need the extra revenue it would get from HTC, the argument goes, and realizes it is far better to fight off Android’s growing market share by stripping out capabilities and slowing innovation and product releases via litigation.”
MacDailyNews Take: Apple wouldn’t be slowing innovation. Google is free to innovate with Android. Apple is merely protecting their own property. IP theft is not innovation.
Read more in the full article here.