HTC countersues Apple
HTC said it would fight against Apple’s patent infringement lawsuit, and predictably, that fight has escalated into a countersuit. HTC has registered a complaint against Apple with the International Trade Commission (ITC) seeking a ban on importation of the iPad, iPhone, and iPod into the US. The ITC began investigating Apple’s claim against HTC at the end of March.
Before either Apple lovers or haters get into a lather over this latest development in the ongoing patent infringement saga, it helps to be aware that HTC’s complaint is highly unlikely to result in any actual importation bans. Patent lawsuits between large companies are a lot like chess games, with the same sort of move/countermove ploys. Rather than resulting in iPads sitting idle in Shanghai container ships, HTC’s countersuit is far more likely to result in an expedited out-of-court cash settlement in the patent infringement matter. Which way the cash will eventually flow remains to be determined; HTC seems to be building its side of the case on being “the innovator of the original Windows Mobile PocketPC Phone Edition in 2002″ if remarks by its vice president are anything to go by.
I’ll refrain from any further armchair lawyering other than this: considering the outcome of previous patent battles, probably all that’s going to come out of this in the end is a few tens of millions of dollars flowing in one direction or the other. Once money changes hands, that’ll most likely be the end of it.