Few days back we reported that Apple has won a lawsuit against HTC Android phones and the court verdict orders a ban on the sales of such phones. However, this story is not over.
Kevin Rivette, a managing partner at intellectual property firm 3LP Advisors LLC, is saying that Apple can possibly collect up to $10 in royalties for every Android device sold. This is a number twice the $5 per unit Microsoft is believed to be collecting for each HTC Android device sold. Rivette made this statement in an interview with Bloomberg recently.
Steve Jobs previously indicated before his demise that he did not wish to license Apple’s patented technology to Android manufacturers. Biographer Walter Isaacson had also written about Jobs’ belief of Android being a “stolen product”. According to Isaacson, Jobs indicated that he was “willing to go to thermonuclear war” to stop it. However, Rivette says that this aggressive approach could be detrimental to Apple shareholders. Rivette believed that the industry would be hurt if device markers were prompted to modify their infringing products and work around Apple’s intellectual property. He said that Apple should reach settlements in cases where it was not possible to win the import restrictions against competing devices.
Rivette said, “It’s like a dam. Using their patents to keep rivals out is like putting rocks in a stream. The stream is going to find a way around. Wouldn’t it be better to direct where the water goes?” The U.S. International Trade Commission found that HTC was had violated an Apple patent related to “Data Detectors”. However, next day, HTC announced its decision to test new devices that worked around Apple’s patent. The ITC’s ruling is not expected to have an immediate impact on either HTC or Apple.
Similarly, Apple has found success with its patented iPhone and iPad designs in Germany. Samsung opted to change the design of Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet with thicker edges and speakers that would accompany the front screen. Galaxy Tab had been banned in Australia as its earlier design was said to be copied from iPad. Recently, Apple sued Samsung over the designs of cases and covers meant for covering phones and tablets. With the changes, the victory of a ban by Apple is not expected in Germany. However, at the moment, Apple has decided to sue. Microsoft has also forged licensing agreements with more than half of Android device markers. Microsoft has contracts in place with Samsung, HTC, Acer, and Viewsonic with pending lawsuits against Motorola Mobility and Barnes & Noble.
What is your opinion about Apple-HTC saga? Do you think Apple should license and reap $10 on every Android device sold or would you like to patent wars continue? Share your comments and opinions down below.