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HTC chief downplays Apple patent case with ITC, calls it a 'distraction'

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
HTC Chief Executive Peter Chou attempted to calm investors on Friday by calling a recent ruling from the International Trade Commission, which found the Taiwanese handset maker guilty of infringing on two of Apple's patents, a mere "distraction" that will not affect his company's business.

At an investor conference on Friday, Chou said the company expects to grow revenue in the third quarter 80 percent year over year to NT$137 billion ($4.74 billion), The Wall Street Journal reports. He remained confident that the company would be unaffected by Apple's suit with the ITC.

The executive also reassured that HTC's recent purchase of S3 graphics would quickly prove worth its $300 million price tag. It has been suggested that the smartphone maker purchased S3 Graphics in order to gain leverage in its negotiations with Apple, which was recently found to be infringing on two of the graphics company's patents. Shares of HTC have slid 20 percent to NT$858 ($29.71) since the company announced its acquisition of S3 graphics.

Apple sued HTC last year, alleging that the company had violated several of its patents. Earlier this month, the federal agency issued an initial ruling in the iPhone maker's favor. Some industry watchers have said that the decision, if upheld by the commission, would be a devastating blow to HTC and Google's Android platform.

According to the report, Chou also indicated the company was "carefully assessing the tablet market" and would become more competitive in the space next year.

Chou reaffirmed the company's continued ability to grow, innovate and release quality products. HTC forecasts third-quarter smartphone shipments will jump 98 percent to 13.5 million units. The company shipped 12.1 million handsets in the June quarter. By comparison, Apple shipped 20.3 million iPhones in the same period, overtaking Nokia to become the world's largest smartphone maker.

However, analysts have voiced concerns over the company's long-term growth prospects. HTC's head of innovation Horace Luke, who played a significant part in the company's rise from contract manufacturer to global smartphone brand, left the company in April of this year. Capital Securities analyst Diana Wu said investors will be anxious to see what HTC can come up with after the last devices Luke helped design arrive in the first quarter of 2012.
post #2 of 23
[sniff, sniff] I smell fear ...
post #3 of 23
Digitimes reported that they already had a workaround if they loose for next year

http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20110726PD213.html
post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by agramonte View Post

Digitimes reported that they already had a workaround if they loose for next year

http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20110726PD213.html

Well they're hardly likely to say anything else are they? I would take that with a big pinch of salt. The DSP patent particularly seemed to be hard to wriggle out of.
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

Well they're hardly likely to say anything else are they? I would take that with a big pinch of salt. The DSP patent particularly seemed to be hard to wriggle out of.

probably not - guess we will see come november
post #6 of 23
I'm pretty sure it's just more than a distraction if Apple is legitimately suing them for technology they have a patent on. I don't think Apple is being a patent troll here and one of the reasons why they patent their technology is because they put a lot of R&D into this and they can have an advantage over the competition. HTC hopes apple will license their technology because they know they are screwed but I really don't think Apple will do that because they created the technology for use with their devices only and not license it out to the competition. Google most certainly isn't gonna help HTC financially because not only is that too much money involved but that would mean they would have to help all their hardware partners involved with Android which is way too much. This is part of the reason why they said they would make sure HTC wouldn't lose the lawsuit, which doesn't seem to be the case so far.
post #7 of 23
What else could he have said?
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

Well they're hardly likely to say anything else are they? I would take that with a big pinch of salt. The DSP patent particularly seemed to be hard to wriggle out of.

There is no such thing as a general patent in DSP, it all depends on the type of implementation that they are litigating. Although I work mostly in microarchitecture and IC design, I do come across colleagues of that area that I work with on projects, and deal with these things in a peripheral way regularly. Things like FFT, Laplace, dithering, etc are mathematical methods that are not patentable. But specific implementation in systems can be. I think we would need to wait to see the details of the ruling to be revealed before knowing what the supposed infringement would actually be.

But whether or not there is a workaround for both patents, HTC certainly stands to lose big if that ruling is upheld. The devices already on the market and in production will obviously be a problem. Then you have the additional issue of the actual work around, many times would involve additional inefficiencies introduced into the system that adds cost or delays products. And frequently these work arounds would involve licensing additional patens from third-parties, which add additional cost to the products. In other words, it can get pretty ugly, so I'm sure a settlement would make life much easier and probably less costly.
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by HardBall View Post

There is no such thing as a general patent in DSP, it all depends on the type of implementation that they are litigating. Although I work mostly in microarchitecture and IC design, I do come across colleagues of that area that I work with on projects, and deal with these things in a peripheral way regularly. Things like FFT, Laplace, dithering, etc are mathematical methods that are not patentable. But specific implementation in systems can be. I think we would need to wait to see the details of the ruling to be revealed before knowing what the supposed infringement would actually be.

But whether or not there is a workaround for both patents, HTC certainly stands to lose big if that ruling is upheld. The devices already on the market and in production will obviously be a problem. Then you have the additional issue of the actual work around, many times would involve additional inefficiencies introduced into the system that adds cost or delays products. And frequently these work arounds would involve licensing additional patens from third-parties, which add additional cost to the products. In other words, it can get pretty ugly, so I'm sure a settlement would make life much easier and probably less costly.

The patent in question is http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-P...S=PN/6,343,263 perhaps I'm over-estimating how broad it is in its implication for a smartphone OS.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deewin View Post

...one of the reasons why they patent their technology is because they put a lot of R&D into this and they can have an advantage over the competition.

No, Apple puts piss all into research. Any money they invest under the guise of R&D is product development. They patent their products to protect them.

Patent is the wrong mechanism for this, rationally. It should be trademark/trade dress.

Apple runs the risk of pushing patent issues to the center stage politically if they start winning significant lawsuits (against US companies). Patent reform would not favor them.
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

The patent in question is http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-P...S=PN/6,343,263 perhaps I'm over-estimating how broad it is in its implication for a smartphone OS.

I don't have time to read through the entire patent file in detail right now. But glancing through it, I can observe that this is not likely a patent about any software layer, since it refers prominently to the implementation of a real-time system. Modern OS, including smartphone OS are generally preemptively multi-program, and allows concurrent execution of instruction streams. The patent describes FIFO buffer (not queue) as a significant component in the implementation, which indicates again that this is a hardware implementation, since modern general purpose microprocessors use relaxed consistency as a model of memory reference, so any implementation based purely on real-time software drivers cannot always achieve FIFO. It refers to DMA (or a subsitute protocol) as the IPC implementation in the kernel, which usually refers to the mode of access by a coprocessor, which means that it's a specific IC embedded in the system that either have DMA control of the address space, or has a packetized communications protocol with a coprocessor within the system root that has such access. So this again points to a very low level implementation that is usually in embedded systems.

So overall, this patent does not seem to have much to do with modern smartphone OS, but rather a realtime hardware or firmware, or perhaps a barebone realtime OS in an embedded device implemented in smalltalk or the like. It's probably referring to some embedded device, such as an analog phone from the 1990s with limited memory and programmability. I don't know whether or not there are other possible ramifications for this patent (for modern mobile devices) without reading through all of the details carefully and study some of the references in detail, which I don't have the time right now. Perhaps another day. But whatever Florian Mueller discussed in regard to this patent is probably incorrect.
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deewin View Post

I'm pretty sure it's just more than a distraction if Apple is legitimately suing them for technology they have a patent on. I don't think Apple is being a patent troll here and one of the reasons why they patent their technology is because they put a lot of R&D into this and they can have an advantage over the competition. HTC hopes apple will license their technology because they know they are screwed but I really don't think Apple will do that because they created the technology for use with their devices only and not license it out to the competition. Google most certainly isn't gonna help HTC financially because not only is that too much money involved but that would mean they would have to help all their hardware partners involved with Android which is way too much. This is part of the reason why they said they would make sure HTC wouldn't lose the lawsuit, which doesn't seem to be the case so far.

I read somewhere that the actual paten they're suing HTC over on is one they bought from a company rather recently. *looking for someone to prove me wrong*
If they did, I now firmly believe that Apple is patent trolling.
If they patented their own creation, I side with Apple lol
I have to admit, between some of the cases Apple is throwing I'm afraid they are becoming patent trolls rather than utilizing their ridiculous income on new products instead of suing the crap out of poor (very poor) Google \
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post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by LogicNReason View Post

I read somewhere that the actual paten they're suing HTC over on is one they bought from a company rather recently. *looking for someone to prove me wrong*
If they did, I now firmly believe that Apple is patent trolling.

One of the patents invoved in one of the suits was part of a package bought from BT in 2008. That's part of the second ITC complaint against HTC, this article appears to refer to the first.

Technically as a practicing entity Apple cannot be a troll, certainly it doesn't matter how it acquired the patent.

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-P...&RS=PN/6956564
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

One of the patents invoved in one of the suits was part of a package bought from BT in 2008. That's part of the second ITC complaint against HTC, this article appears to refer to the first.

Technically as a practicing entity Apple cannot be a troll, certainly it doesn't matter how it acquired the patent.

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-P...&RS=PN/6956564

Definition for patent troll:
Patent troll is a pejorative term used for a person or company that enforces its patents against one or more alleged infringers in a manner considered unduly aggressive or opportunistic, often with no intention to manufacture or market the patented invention.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_troll

IMO and per the definition, practicing entities CAN be trolls.
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post #15 of 23
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Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Definition for patent troll:
Patent troll is a pejorative term used for a person or company that enforces its patents against one or more alleged infringers in a manner considered unduly aggressive or opportunistic, often with no intention to manufacture or market the patented invention.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_troll

IMO and per the definition, practicing entities CAN be trolls.

You left "no intention to manufacture or market the patented invention" and since Apple definitely are selling products using technology in said patents then Apple is definitely NOT a patent troll.
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post #16 of 23
. . . the one who is re-inventing how we use technology. Well, it ain't M$, not Google, not HTC, not Android, not Nokia, not Dell . . . So many nots to untangle and Apple has such skilful fingers to do the deed.

Everyone loves a winner, that's why everyone is talking about Apple. No talk about the wonders of Google (choose from previous short list, and then add any other favourites).

Don't hear a lot of such discussion on Android sites. There they whine and cry because their gizmos don't work. ("My Android xxx drools when I pass an iPhone, please tell me what to do, wah, wah, wah.) Such pleads for help truly brings tears, sniff.

Now, join in as we sing "Roll Out the Barrel" lift those legs and break out the beer.

When I find time to rewrite the laws of Physics, there'll Finally be some changes made round here!

I am not crazy! Three out of five court appointed psychiatrists said so.

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When I find time to rewrite the laws of Physics, there'll Finally be some changes made round here!

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post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by freckledbruh View Post

You left "no intention to manufacture or market the patented invention" and since Apple definitely are selling products using technology in said patents then Apple is definitely NOT a patent troll.

. . . and you conveniently left out the linking word "often". Not the same as always.
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post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

. . . and you conveniently left out the linking word "often". Not the same as always.

If Apple has come out with the product first and sold millions of devices that contain the tech that is patented, how exactly are they being a patent troll?
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post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by freckledbruh View Post

If Apple has come out with the product first and sold millions of devices that contain the tech that is patented, how exactly are they being a patent troll?

I'm not claiming they are a troll. But I can also see how they might end up with that reputation.
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post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I'm not claiming they are a troll. But I can also see how they might end up with that reputation.

YMMV but I can't see how a company whose majority revenue is derived from products that utilizes technology patented by said company could get a reputation as a patent troll for simply protecting their IP (developed or purchased). IMO, a patent troll is a company whose main source of revenue is derived from patent lawsuits and not actual products. Apple does not fall into that category.
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post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

I'm not claiming they are a troll.

Well you are really. Just a teensy weensy bit.


Quote:
But I can also see how they might end up with that reputation.

Of course you can.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by freckledbruh View Post

YMMV but I can't see how a company whose majority revenue is derived from products that utilizes technology patented by said company could get a reputation as a patent troll for simply protecting their IP (developed or purchased). IMO, a patent troll is a company whose main source of revenue is derived from patent lawsuits and not actual products. Apple does not fall into that category.

Enter Microsoft
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post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

No, Apple puts piss all into research. Any money they invest under the guise of R&D is product development. They patent their products to protect them.

Patent is the wrong mechanism for this, rationally. It should be trademark/trade dress.

Apple runs the risk of pushing patent issues to the center stage politically if they start winning significant lawsuits (against US companies). Patent reform would not favor them.

Oh clueless wonder. Apple puts significant amounts of money and energy into R&D. Just because they don't spend as much as MSFT doesn't mean anything. Apple just happens to be much more efficient and focused than those floating turds. And as to your ridiculous comment about "apple runs the risk of pushing patent issues to center stage", you must be kidding. Apple is now the most sued company on the planet. Patent reform would clearly benefit them as patent reform would be aimed squarely at the trolls.
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