HTC said it is willing to negotiate with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) to find a way out of the patent dispute the two smartphone makers have been embroiled in since last year, HTC's CFO said.
HTC CFO Winston Young told Bloomberg that the companies need to "sit down and figure it out" and that HTC is "open to having discussions." An Apple spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The conciliatory tone from HTC comes less than two weeks after a preliminary ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission found HTC infringed on two Apple patents. HTC has said it will appeal the ruling to the full, six-member ITC, and a decision is not expected until late this year. The patents refer to multimedia processing technology and data detection technology.
"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 does have a potential card up its sleeve. On July 6 the Taiwanese smartphone maker announced a $300 million deal to buy S3 Graphics Co., less than a week after S3 won an ITC ruling against Apple over two separate patents.
The fact that HTC is interested in a negotiated settlement of some sort is not entirely unusual. Often, wireless patent disputes have resulted in some form of settlement or cross-licensing deal. For example, in June, Nokia (NYSE:NOK) emerged the victor against Apple in the companies' long-running patent dispute, with Apple agreeing to pay licensing fees to Nokia as part of a settlement. What may make the Apple-HTC dispute different is that the patent fight is widely seen as a proxy battle between Apple and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform, which HTC strongly supports.
- see this Bloomberg article
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