Summary:

HTC says it has already figured out how to ship Android phones in the U.S. that don’t run afoul of a patent held by Apple (NSDQ: AAPL), the…

HTC's CEO Peter Chou Helps Unveil Google's Nexus One
photo: Tricia Duryee

HTC says it has already figured out how to ship Android phones in the U.S. that don’t run afoul of a patent held by Apple (NSDQ: AAPL), the company’s CEO said Wednesday at event in Taiwan where Google’s chief Android executive also hinted that patent settlements may start to become more common.

Peter Chou, CEO of HTC and a close Google (NSDQ: GOOG) partner for years, appeared with Andy Rubin at a media event where he declared that HTC’s setback at the International Trade Commission on Monday will be quite temporary. The company has until April to come up with a fix, and Chou said one is already ready that should satisfy the concerns of the ITC judges, according to Bloomberg.

Both Chou and Rubin claimed that the feature HTC had to remove was “actually quite rarely used,” in the words of Chou. Rubin was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying that in a way, the ITC decision was a good thing for Android because other patents Apple asserted during the dispute were aimed at more fundamental parts of Android, while the only patent that actually was judged to be relevant in the case involved something minor.

That’s certainly spin of the highest order–HTC and Google put that feature in there for a reason–but Rubin is right that the greater danger to Android is that a patent involving some piece of technology that can’t be removed or worked around will be upheld. Reuters said he expressed hope that the Android community would be able to find “patent peace” in their disputes with Apple and Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), and was said in the Bloomberg report to suggest that settlements may start to become more likely.

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