HTC Corp (宏達電), the world’s No. 4 smartphone maker, yesterday hailed the US verdict on its patent lawsuit with archrival Apple Inc as a “win,” even though the US International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled it had infringed on one Apple patent.
“This decision is a win for HTC ... we are very pleased with the determination and we respect it,” HTC general counsel Grace Lei (雷憶瑜) said in a statement, adding that the company would soon remove the user interface that violated the Apple patent from all its smartphones.
On Monday, a six-member panel of the ITC partially upheld the preliminary findings of a patent complaint filed by Apple in March last year against HTC, finding that the Taiwanese firm had infringed one of four patents in Apple’s complaint.
The patent HTC was found to be violating — the “647” patent — deals with data detection that enables users to tap on a telephone number or address contained in an e-mail to immediately call the number or find the address on a map.
HTC said the “647 patent is a small user interface experience and HTC will completely remove it from all of its smartphones soon.”
HTC has until April 19 to come up with an alternative or face a ban on sales of handsets with the function in the US.
The list of affected products and a full reason for the commission’s decision, which is subject to appeal and a presidential review, was not immediately made public.
Apple’s original complaint named HTC’s Nexus One, Touch Pro, Diamond, Tilt II, Dream, myTouch, Hero and Droid Eris smartphones.
Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, declined to discuss the possibility of a settlement.
She repeated the company’s position that “competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology.”
Boosted by the ruling, shares of HTC soared by the 7 percent daily limit to close at NT$476 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.
“The verdict seems to have a limited impact on HTC in terms of dampening its market visibility in the US. Even if some of its smartphone models were banned, it could still sell other models given it has a variety of smartphones to offer,” Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center (產業經濟與趨勢研究中心) research manager Andrew Wang (王英裕) said.
While the Apple versus HTC saga can take a breather for now, the industry is still closely monitoring the pending lawsuits that Apple has against the Google Inc camp that includes Samsung Electronics Co and Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc.
International Data Corp senior analyst Joey Yen (嚴蘭欣) told the Central News Agency that developing a self-owned operating system, such as Samsung Electronics’ Bada, could partly ease Android makers’ pressure from Apple, but this might create uncertainties for HTC.
“Self-owned operating systems allow room for imagination, but are dependent on a company’s strength,” Yen said. “HTC may not have enough manpower or capital to develop one since it has put a lot of resources into the Android and Windows platforms.”
Meanwhile, Apple, which on Dec. 9 lost a bid to keep Samsung’s Galaxy 10.1 tablet out of Australia, claims the case for the device and cases for Samsung smartphones infringe its patents and registered designs.
Apple issued a notice of infringement to Samsung in Australia over the cases, and it will file a statement of claim, Apple lawyer Stephen Burley said at a hearing in Sydney yesterday.
Samsung lawyer Katrina Howard said at the same hearing the company was served with a notice that the cases infringe at least 10 patents.
‘HERO OF THE ERA’: President Tsai Ing-wen expressed deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and told the government to assist his family with all their needs Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old. The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure. Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia. The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections. During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
RECEIVING TREATMENT: President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President William Lai and Premier Su Tseng-chang visited former president Lee Teng-hui yesterday morning Taipei Veterans General Hospital yesterday rebutted speculation that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had died a day earlier, saying that he was weak, but receiving treatment. The hospital said the 97-year-old Lee was not in good condition and needed ongoing care, adding that if there are any changes in his condition, it would make those public. The comments came after rumors emerged online on Tuesday that Lee had died after being hospitalized since early February. Soon after the unsubstantiated rumors emerged, reporters started flocking to the hospital seeking confirmation. Lee was admitted to Taipei Veterans General Hospital on Feb. 8 after choking while drinking
ROAD TO HISTORY: When Lee Teng-hui joined the KMT, the likelihood of a Taiwanese becoming ROC president, much less its first directly elected one, was hard to imagine Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who was born on Jan. 15, 1923, in the farming community of Sanshi Village, Taihoku Prefecture — now New Taipei City’s Sanzhi District (三芝) — during the Japanese colonial era, and rose to become mayor of Taipei and not only the Republic of China’s (ROC) first Taiwan-born president, but its first directly elected one as well. Educated in the Japanese educational system of the time, Lee, who spoke Japanese, Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), Mandarin and English, won a scholarship to Kyoto Imperial University, but his studies were interrupted by World War II. He earned a bachelor’s