Sat, May 19, 2012 - Page 12 News List

HTC to meet with Apple for mediation on patent

By George Liao  /  Staff Reporter

Smartphone maker HTC Corp (宏達電) said yesterday it and Apple Inc were ordered by a US court to meet in August to settle a patent dispute instigated by the Taiwanese company last year.

HTC public relations manager Jessica Pan (潘瑞蓮) said the company had been asked by a US district court to meet its US rival in a mediation conference on Aug. 28, confirming media reports.

“The conference is just part of a legal process because the US judge has the right to order the two sides to sit down and talk about the dispute,” Pan said by telephone.

She said the company had no intention to send high-ranking representatives to attend the meeting with Apple, adding that outsiders should not make too many assumptions about the matter.

Asked whether the result of the mediation conference would have any bearing on the final ruling of the case, Pan said she could not make any comment about an ongoing litigation.

However, she said the court order had nothing to do with the seizure of two popular HTC smartphone models at US customs earlier this week.

On Wednesday, HTC said the US availability of the HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE had been delayed because of a US customs review of shipments following an import ban on its products filed by the US International Trade Commission.

The Taoyuan-based company raised a complaint against Apple on Sept. 7 last year in the US District Court in Wilmington, Delaware.

In the litigation, HTC said that Apple had infringed four of patents HTC bought from Google Inc relating to methods to upgrade software wirelessly.

In Taipei trading, HTC shares fell 3.26 percent yesterday to close at NT$400.50, the lowest since Dec. 9, when the stock ended at NT$405.50, data from the Taiwan Stock Exchange showed.

So far this year, the stock has dropped 19.42 percent, underperforming a 1.12 percent increase for the TAIEX over the same period, as HTC faces intensified competition from Apple and Samsung Electronics Co and continues the patent dispute with the iPhone maker.

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