HTC triggers longer battle against Apple
Taipei, Sept. 11 (CNA) Taiwan’s HTC Corp. has triggered a longer legal battle against Apple Inc. after filing new complaints with patents acquired from Google Inc., the owner of the popular Android operating system., an analyst said recently.
Earlier on Wednesday, HTC amended its existing complaints filed on Aug. 16 with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) and U.S. District Court of Delaware, as well as an additional case in Delaware, for patent infringement by Apple’s iOS devices and Mac computers.
HTC filed the new claim with nine patents it bought from Google Inc. last week, which originated from Palm Inc., Motorola Inc. and Openwave Systems Inc., and were transferred to Google within the past year, according to Bloomberg News.
“Now HTC is backed by a military warehouse, but it is questionable whether the company can hit its target precisely with these bullets,” Joey Yen, a senior analyst at International Data Corp. (IDC), told CNA by telephone.
“Currently, these bullets appear at least to disturb HTC’s rival. It’s a part of a patent battle that consists of many waves of attacks and defenses,” Yen said.
She said Google will not give up its key partners in the Android camp at this stage, including Samsung Electronics Co., which has encountered several setbacks in sales of its Galaxy smartphones and tablet PCs due to patent infringement claims by Apple.
The global intellectual property battle began in April. Apple has said Samsung’s Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets “slavishly” copied the iPhone and iPad, and it has sued the Korean firm in the United States, Australia and Korea, as well as Europe.
In the latest move on Sept. 8, Apple accused the South Korean company in Japan of violating patents relating to the iPhone and iPad, seeking to ban sales of some Samsung Galaxy gadgets in the country.
“Given Google has transferred some patents to HTC, it will have the same reason to transfer other patents back to Samsung,” Yen said.
The IDC has forecast that global smartphone shipments will grow to 450 million units this year from 303 million units, with 39.5 percent installed with the Android platform.
According to market research firm ABI Research, Android phones sales reached 47 million units in the April-June quarter, or 46.4 percent of the worldwide smartphone market.
Samsung led the Android market with a 34 percent share, while HTC came in second with 23 percent, ABI Research said.
The Android software accounts for 85 percent of Samsung’s total smartphones, while the platform takes 94 percent of HTC’s worldwide