Thu, Aug 02, 2012 - Page 14 News List

HTC drops patent from lawsuit against Apple

SETBACK IN STRATEGY:The ITC last month denied HTC’s request for a review of whether it could use patents bought from Google in the infringement case

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp (宏達電) confirmed Wednesday that it has withdrawn a patent from its second lawsuit against Apple Inc to better focus its case.

“Our decision to drop a patent from this case is a normal step taken in litigation to help streamline cases for trial,” HTC said in a statement via e-mail.

“We are confident that Apple infringes our remaining patents and look forward to presenting our case to the judge at trial later this year,” the Taoyuan-based company said.

The ’414 patent that was withdrawn from the suit is related to a “circuit and operating method for integrated interface of PDA and wireless communication systems” and was the only “homegrown” HTC patent at issue in the investigation.

HTC had filed suit against Apple in the US late last year for infringing eight patents, but that number is down to only two — the ’219 and ’944 patents the company purchased from ADC Telecommunications in April last year, which are essential to the 4G/LTE wireless communication standard.

Joey Yen (嚴蘭欣), a senior analyst at International Data Corp, viewed HTC’s decision as a move to expedite the trial process and save litigation costs.

“I don’t think it is a struggle or a setback,” she said by telephone. “Instead, it’s more like part of a trial strategy to focus on certain battlefields that might be in favor of the company.”

HTC’s decision came after the US’s International Trade Commission (ITC) on July 11 denied its petition to review whether some patents it bought from Google Inc could be used in the patent infringement case against the iPhone maker.

In September last year, HTC amended its existing complaints filed on Aug. 16 last year with the ITC and the US District Court of Delaware, as well as an additional case in Delaware, for patent infringement by Apple’s devices and computers.

HTC filed the new claim based on a total of eight patents, including five purchased from Google that had originated from Palm Inc, Motorola Inc and Openwave Systems Inc and had been transferred to Google within the previous year.

In June, however, the ITC rejected HTC’s bid to assert the five patents it obtained from Google after Apple argued that HTC did not have the right to sue through this “rent-a-patent” model.

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