Apple’s initial legal victory over rival HTC in a patent infringement suit could pave the way for Apple to collect high royalties from devices running Google Android, according to one analysis.
Mike Abramsky with RBC Capital Markets believes that Apple has the upper hand over HTC, which is a smaller handset maker with a limited portfolio of intellectual property. As such, Apple could potentially push for an injunction and ask the U.S. International Trade Commission to bar the import of HTC handsets.
Instead, Abramsky believes it’s more likely that Apple will try to establish a high royalty precedent on Android devices. He said the iPhone maker could garner a deal that’s similar to or even higher than the $5 per unit that Microsoft collects on HTC Android devices.
Microsoft’s licensing deal with HTC is so lucrative, it’s caused some pundits to speculate that the Redmond, Wash., software giant makes more money off of Google’s Android than it does from its own Windows Phone 7 platform.
By establishing such a high precedent, Apple’s hypothetical licensing fees could constrain other, larger Android device makers like Motorola and Samsung. Those companies are up to 15 times larger, and they have much deeper intellectual property portfolios.
The two patents HTC was said to be infringing upon are also part of a separate lawsuit Apple has filed against Motorola. The company is also suing Samsung for allegedly copying the look and feel of the iPhone and iPad.
An ITC judge ruled on Friday that HTC’s handsets illegally violate two patented inventions owned by Apple: U.S. Patent Nos. 5,946,647 and 6,343,263. The judge’s initial ruling is still subject to review by the full commission.
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AppleInsider | Apple’s victory over HTC may set high royalty precedent for Android devices.