These are worrying times for HTC, with a hearing tomorrow set to decide whether the company did indeed violate two of Apple’s patents. If the ruling goes in the iPhone maker’s favor, then the repercussions could be felt far and wide.
The hearing at the U.S. Trade Commission on Tuesday will rule on an appeal lodged by HTC after they were originally declared in violation of two of Apple’s patents regarding smartphones.
The two patents allow smartphones to display and transmit data, such as phone numbers, contact information and applications. If it is decided that HTC is in the wrong, then it could see the company forced to pull its Android smartphones from the United States just before the lucrative Christmas period begins in earnest. The company’s only alternative would be to pay up, a situation which could see Apple able to name its price – a situation that HTC could do without.
The knock-on affect of this could be huge. If HTC is found guilty despite its appeal, many believe that Android itself could be the next in the firing line, and it would be difficult to believe that HTC is the only one violating these patents.
“It’s hard to see how any Android device could not infringe, or how companies could work around them,” patent expert Florian Mueller said back in July, after HTC’s original patent loss.
HTC is already suffering. With the Asian traders all to aware of the impending judgment, the company is already seeing its stock sit at its lowest level in 17 months. Bad news for investors and executives alike.
HTC isn’t the only one feeling the full force of Apple’s legal eagles. Samsung, too, is finding itself staring down the barrel of a gun in more than one continent, with its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet and Galaxy S II Android smartphone deemed to be in violation of patents owned by Apple.
It is clear that Apple is intent on defending itself in the courts, and with the amount of money at the Cupertino company’s disposal we can’t see them stopping until either they win, or the other party simply runs out of cash!
When has Apple ever given in to anyone?