Samsung Electronics Co’s latest setback in a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple Inc suggests a tough battle ahead for HTC Corp (宏達電), which is facing a similar case later this year, an analyst said yesterday.
On Friday, a US federal district court jury in California said Samsung would have to pay US$1.05 billion in damages after ruling that Samsung infringed six of the seven contested patents by Apple, including utility and design patents.
The offending products include Samsung’s major smartphones and tablets sold in the US, but not its Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note models.
Jeff Pu (蒲得宇), an equity research analyst at Taipei-based Fubon Securities Co (富邦證券), said it would be only provide a short-term relief for HTC if Apple successfully bans Samsung’s questionable devices from the US market before a Sept. 20 hearing for the case.
“We see increasing litigation risks for HTC, which should cap its multiple expansion,” Pu wrote in a research note. “The Samsung/Apple case also suggests that HTC’s upcoming initial ruling on Nov. 7 could be a tough battle for HTC.”
Dale Gai (蓋欣山), a Taipei-based analyst at Barclays PLC, said the jury verdict would be negative for HTC if the company were found to be in a similar unfavorable position in the Apple litigation.
“We believe that HTC could accelerate its negotiations with Apple to settle, leading to potential royalties for Apple but this would be negative for HTC’s earnings,” Gai said in a report.
It is not clear yet when the HTC matter will be heard.