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HTC Ready For Apple Patent War 98

Posted by samzenpus
from the one-bad-apple dept.
chrb writes "The BBC have an interview with HTC CEO Peter Chou. Last week, a judge at the International Trade Commission found that HTC had violated two of Apple's patents. HTC shares fell 7% on the news. Chou predicts that HTC will win an appeal against the ITC finding in December. He also reveals that HTC is preparing to fight back; it will soon acquire an extra 235 patents from its takeover of S3 Graphics — including two that Apple has already been found guilty of infringing."
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HTC Ready For Apple Patent War

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  • I'm getting some popcorn. This should be fun.
    • by Tasha26 (1613349)
      The way those patent wars last, i think you'll need a really big bucket.
      • by rbrausse (1319883)

        bucket? the government should open the strategic popcorn reserves...

        • by Dunbal (464142) *
          Nah, a strategic reserve should be saved for dire strategic need, not for short term political gains. Once it's gone, it's gone. Hang on to that popcorn, we are about to live in interesting times.
      • by lennier1 (264730)

        Probably more along the lines of a dump truck.

  • ...Huh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) on Tuesday July 26, 2011 @10:19AM (#36883234)
    While I do hope Apple loses this patent troll suit...

    "it will soon acquire an extra 235 patents from its takeover of S3 Graphics"

    ...I really hope HTC doesn't become tomorrow's patent troll.
    • by mcvos (645701)

      While I do hope Apple loses this patent troll suit...

      "it will soon acquire an extra 235 patents from its takeover of S3 Graphics" ...I really hope HTC doesn't become tomorrow's patent troll.

      This is how it works, unfortunately. It's not about who invents what, it's just ammo to be bought and hoarded in a destructive corporate war. It's this behaviour that gets rewarded, while companies who are against software patents get punished.

      • All of the big players have backed themselves into a corner with these patent disputes. It would help if the patents being fought over were actually certified as valid before they started suing each other but they seem to have skipped that step in favor of wasting a lot of money creating uncertainty which is slowing down the implementation of new technology. I am still having a hard time understanding how all of these java related patents were even declared patents in the first place. The majority of the Ja
        • by hazydave (96747)

          The patent being granted IS certification of validity, legally and everything. Sure, it doesn't mean it even remotely ought to be valid, but that's how the patent law works...once granted, it's someone else's job to prove invalidity.

          The reason many patents were granted... well, there are so many. A good number of software patents were granted because the examiners at the PTO in these cases didn't know squat about software development, and so had no basis for rejecting them (well, or understanding them..). B

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jader3rd (2222716)

      ...I really hope HTC doesn't become tomorrow's patent troll.

      I think of patent trolls as those who don't produce anything (or anything of perceptible market value), yet sue over the fact that they hold a patent. HTC is actually producing products.

      • by mjwx (966435)

        ...I really hope HTC doesn't become tomorrow's patent troll.

        I think of patent trolls as those who don't produce anything (or anything of perceptible market value), yet sue over the fact that they hold a patent. HTC is actually producing products.

        As a fan of HTC (I've owned two HTC Android phones and would buy another if they release one with a physical KB) but am wary HTC becoming a patent troll. However producing something does not prevent someone from being a patent troll. Apple produces something but it's no longer able to compete effectively, so they are suing in an attempt to hinder their competition. I dont think HTC will do the same, but I wont ignore the possibility.

    • it will soon acquire an extra 235 patents from its takeover of S3 Graphics"

      ...I really hope HTC doesn't become tomorrow's patent troll.

      One way or another, somebody is going to have them.

    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      Apple, by definition, cannot be a patent troll. Because they attack another company over patents for which they actually produced a product.

      So no, Apple is not the next patent troll. And no, 235 patents aren't going to help HTC against the hundreds of thousands that Apple holds.

      If only they'd make patents valid for one year (in software and in technology in general), all this would go away a lot sooner.

    • by gmon750 (1216394)

      Of course... because it's not like HTC would try to then sue the other makers of Android phones of violating their patents right??
      HTC might be in the mood to start thinning the Android herd a bit.

    • by Tasha26 (1613349)
      Well, you know what they say about waking up a dragon...
  • by walshy007 (906710) on Tuesday July 26, 2011 @10:22AM (#36883266)

    I think it is very fitting, for companies who sue using patents to have said sued companies come back with even more patents and try to cause financial harm to them in the same manner.

    There are too many people in the world for ideas to be the property of a single man. Companies still get first mover advantage if they are the first to do something.

    • Another round (Score:4, Informative)

      by Quila (201335) on Tuesday July 26, 2011 @10:49AM (#36883660)

      Apple paid the lion's share for the 6,000 Nortel patents purchased by the Apple/MS/RIM consortium.

      And much of that isn't software patents and such, it's hard-core telecommunications patents, including many covering LTE.

      • While there might be some fodder for a new round of the patent war, I guess most of these have already been licensed.
        So while it will bring Apple some strategic advantage, it will not necessarely bring disadvantages to it's competitors.
        • by Microlith (54737)

          It will bring definite disadvantage to any possible new competitors, since Apple et. al. will be able to handily keep them out of the market. In the mobile space, there will only be the incumbents. No new companies will rise, and this "Patent Axis" will make sure of that.

  • by Rambo Tribble (1273454) on Tuesday July 26, 2011 @10:29AM (#36883388)
    What a tangled game; what an impediment to society.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Rumor has it that Bill Gates has recently acquired the one patent to rule them all.

    • Not chess, it's Global Thermonuclear War.

      Care to play a game?

      In all seriousness, the whole telecommunications patent system was in some ways held together by a MAD philosophy. Once one corporation thought they had an advantage and fired the first shot, the inevitable domino effect has pulled in every major company involved in the industry. Now granted, it isn't mutually assured destruction because it's a zero sum game, someone will come out ahead (though after you subtract out legal costs perhaps not), it

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 26, 2011 @10:30AM (#36883404)

    (Posting as AC because I'm at work and I don't log into websites from work...)

    According to Bloomberg, HTC is ready to negotiate with Apple. [bloomberg.com] Now, I know that's not as exciting as "HTC Ready for Apple Patent War" because there's just so much sensationalism in that, but why let facts get in the way of sensationalism, right?

    • by chrb (1083577)
      It's perfectly possible to be "willing to negotiate" and "ready for war" at the same time. The two are not mutually exclusive.

      why let facts get in the way of sensationalism

      The BBC article has the headline "HTC is braced for Apple smartphone patent war: Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC has said it is prepared to wage a patent war against Apple." The summary says "HTC Ready for Apple Patent War". Are the two really so different?

  • anti-competition (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SkunkPussy (85271) on Tuesday July 26, 2011 @10:35AM (#36883468) Journal

    How about we compete on innovation instead of on ability to lock a competitor out of a market?

    • Re:anti-competition (Score:4, Interesting)

      by chrb (1083577) on Tuesday July 26, 2011 @11:16AM (#36884118)
      That's what Mr. Chou wants: "We all have been living in this village for a long time, making smartphones. But one day this powerful man came in and said I invented this world, this world is mine. I don't think so. We have been making smartphones before the iPhone. This world belongs to all and nobody has a right to ask other people to leave. What it means is we don't want to copy anyone, we want to be a premium product. This world, this market is very big... is for all of us. Nobody should tell other people to leave and we should compete in the market place, let consumers decide... rather than in court."
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by BSDimwit (583028)
      What do you think these patent lawsuits are if not competing on innovation? I know it's not popular slashdot groupthink but patents are a way of staking claim to your innovations and preventing others from taking advantage of it in hopes that the resulting product will be better than the competition's. Apple is not your run of the mill patent troll. They actually make products incorporating these patentable inventions and I can't fault them for wanting to prevent other competing products from using those
      • by Microlith (54737)

        What do you think these patent lawsuits are if not competing on innovation?

        It's a war game designed to stake out territory and drive the barriers to entry up. The goal is to destroy competition, first and foremost.

        patents are a way of staking claim to your innovations and preventing others from taking advantage of it in hopes that the resulting product will be better than the competition's

        That is absolutely not what's going on here. This is about filing and buying as many patents as possible to ensure that

      • Apple is not your run of the mill patent troll. They actually make products incorporating these patentable inventions

        So does HTC.

  • by trum4n (982031) on Tuesday July 26, 2011 @10:40AM (#36883550)
    If any of these were my patents, the judge would tell me to pissoff, and apple would keep using them for free. Then they would re-patent them, like they did with multitouch, magically have no prior art, then i would be sued for infringement.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    These constant patent wars are ripping the one precious resource that is in shortest supply: Time.

    We are frittering away hours that could be used for so much more. We must streamline, cleanup and in general FIX this abomination called patent law.

  • by mu51c10rd (187182) on Tuesday July 26, 2011 @10:56AM (#36883772)

    This seems very relevant to this article...

    "No matter who wins, we lose"

    All these patent lawsuits only result in settlements and royalties paid which then creates more costs to pass on to us consumers.

    • by paziek (1329929)

      Its not like you have to buy HTC or Apple. Or buy new phone each year. If its just voice and text, then phone from 10 years ago does this job just as good as current ones. Sure you don't have nice threaded view on SMS and touch interface, but battery holds for much longer.

      • by Arctech (538041)
        Right now just about every major technology corporation in Silicon Valley have amassed large sums of software patents (most of which should never have been awarded or given credence in the first place) for the express purpose of either frivolous use in lawsuits, or the threat bringing suit.

        Granted there are not many easy solutions to this gross misuse of the original intent of patent law, but the answer of "don't buy a smartphone" isn't really going to help much. It's a systemic problem widespread in t
  • If the HTC CEO says so, it must be true.
    Now make those 7% recover please, or he won't get his bonus this month.

  • NPR just aired a great story about the problems with some patents including software patents. It is nice to hear this stuff in mainstream media because it means more people are getting informed. That will hopefully result in more action to clean up this mess. http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/441/when-patents-attack [thisamericanlife.org] Check it out.
    • It's funny that you think NPR is mainstream media.
      • by steelfood (895457)

        It's certainly more mainstream than Slashdot.

        With NPR, at least it'll make other major media outlets aware of the issue and begin to run their own segments on software patents. Which stance they take depends on the network, but having it out in the open for discussion is better than nobody knowing that it is even a thing.

  • Within minutes of each other, we have one story here that says they will duke it out, and TechCrunch saying that they are now scared and are going to settle (http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/26/htc-warms-up-to-settlement-talks-with-apple/).

    Seriously, there is way too much speculative journalism and hot shot CEOs all trying to put a good spin on where they stand.

    In the end: Patents are killing everything, and we all lose. If it doesn't get under control soon, it will just be a big royal rumble cage match where

    • In the end: Patents are killing everything, and we all lose.

      Not if you're an inventor, or entrepreneur. The company I work for has 'invented' some pretty neat stuff - Patents ensure that we get revenue from our inventions - Others license rights to use our IP.

      • by dgatwood (11270)

        Only if you don't actually try to make what you invent. If you do, then somebody else will come and sue you over twelve hundred "inventions" that they previously patented that are similar to some minor aspect of what you invented.

        In the current patent climate, only patent trolls win. The only way to fix this is to shorten patent terms and limit transferability of patents from employees to their employers.

The number of arguments is unimportant unless some of them are correct. -- Ralph Hartley

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