HTC Opens New Front In Patent War Against Apple


HTC is fighting back against Apple (NSDQ: AAPL), filing a new lawsuit in federal court asserting three patents against Apple products that it believes infringe upon those patents. The new lawsuit comes as the two companies continue to bicker at the International Trade Commission over patent-related issues.

Reuters reports that the three patents were obtained by HTC in 2008 and 2010, which means they aren’t part of the S3 Graphics haul that HTC is acquiring along with that company one it gets regulatory approval. But HTC did in fact purchase two of the three patents it’s now using against Apple through its acquisition of ADC Technologies, as noted by This Is My Next.

This is what Google (NSDQ: GOOG) had in mind when it agreed to purchase Motorola for a stunning $12.5 billion. HTC is on the ropes at the ITC, currently appealing a ruling from a judge that its products infringe on Apple’s patents. But while it is appealing that notion, it can force Apple to play defense by filing its own patent lawsuits in hopes of getting a few rulings on its side of the ledger.

That, in turn, would from HTC’s perspective ideally motivate Apple to settle with a cross-licensing agreement that would still probably wind up costing HTC some royalty payments. Cross-licensing settlements are almost always the end game in patent disputes between two big companies, unless one of the companies has so weak a patent portfolio that it can’t realistically defend itself.

Right now, that describes Google, and Motorola’s patents could give it some leverage against those suing Google and Android partners.

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