HTC confirms court order to meet Apple for settlement talks


TAIPEI — Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp. confirmed yesterday that it has been ordered by a United States court to meet Apple Inc. in August for a possible settlement of patent infringement litigation filed by the Taiwanese company in September 2011. HTC, a provider of smartphones and tablet computers running on Google Inc.’s Android operating system, stressed that it is only a procedure, part of the mediation process in the case that involves infringement on data-detection technology in mobile devices. Apple Insider, a website dedicated to Apple-related news, recently reported that Apple and HTC have been ordered by the United States District Court of Delaware to meet for possible settlement talks on Aug. 28.

The report also noted that although there has been no indication which representatives from each company will participate, in separate court-ordered moderated talks with Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea scheduled for early next week, it has been announced that both Apple and Samsung’s chief executives will be taking part in the discussion.

The Taoyuan-based company, however, rebutted the conjecture, saying that it is not considering sending high-ranking representatives to attend the meeting with Apple. In addition, HTC said that the case has nothing to do with the delayed shipments of two of its flagship smartphones to the U.S. due to an import ban on its products filed by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC).

HTC products that are imported to the U.S. after April 19 will need to be checked by the U.S. Customs for any patent infringement, but the company is not sure how long it will take to complete the review, according to HTC.

In a USITC ruling in December last year, HTC was found to be in violation of an Apple Inc. patent involving data detection. The company was given until April 19 to come up with an alternative or face a ban on U.S. sales of its handsets with the function.

HTC said earlier that the patent in question relates to a minor part of the interface and that the company will remove it from all of their phones soon.