After losing a case against Apple that will ban several of its handsets from the U.S. market, HTC is wasting no time to find a workaround. HTC engineers are said to have already come up with models that out wit patents cited in a lawsuit with Apple, according to HTC CEO Peter Chou. The handset maker made the announcement alongside Google, saying that they will be working closely with the search giant to overcome the innovation stifling ruling.
“This industry should not allow one company to use its powerful weapon to stop other innovation and take it all…this is not fair,” Chou said.
HTC was found to have infringed on one of four patents that was central to Apple’s case. Apple’s victory is widely seen as a small triumph against its larger battle with Google and its Android OS.
“This is just the beginning,” said Google’s Andy Rubin. “It will play out in the next couple of years.”
Despite losing to Apple, HTC shares jumped by the maximum allowed, closing up 6.93 percent, up 4.56 percent. The gains were helped by HTC’s announcement to buy back 10 million of its shares from now until February, Reuters said.
“The lawsuit had pressured the stock for some time and now that the ruling is out, HTC has some breathing space,” said Jeff Pu, Fubon Securities Investment Services analyst. “We believe the possibility of a continued rise is quite high.”
To maintain its momentum, HTC will need to address a number of challenges it currently faces in the market. For the first time in two years, the company has seen an annual sales decline. The company revealed sales dropped 30 percent in November over the previous month and a 20 percent dive from the same time last year.
Still, Chou remains the optimist, “There are a lot of challenges, always…what I’m confident about is that HTC has good people and a strong team, talented. At the same time we have a great partner to do this together.”
While it isn’t clear what the exact workarounds are at the moment, the patent war seems to only be heating up. With HTC and Google working closely on this project, we hopefully won’t see the handset maker’s devices off the market for very long. That’s certainly bad news for Apple, as Android shares have grown to almost 50 percent of the current market.