It would appear that HTC may soon be able to start "turning the tables" on Apple with their patent infringement lawsuit, or at the very least develop some leveraging room for a potential negotiation. In an interesting turn of events, a Judge has ruled in a separate case that Apple is infringing on several patents owned by HTC. Interestingly, it isn't in the mobile arena, but instead it's Apple's MAC OS X computers that are infringing on HTC's patents. Recently, HTC acquired silicon manufacturer S3 Graphics. Technologies from this company are used in several different Mac personal computers. Here's a quote from the DailyTech.com article with some more details,This ruling allows for a partial ban on all imports of Macs. And, lest you think that this doesn't give HTC any real leveraging room compared to Apple's lawsuit against them, keep in mind that almost all Macs are actually made primarily in Asia. Also, Apple has a currently prospering computer lineup, and posted about $17.5B USD in computer sales last year. This could be a sharp kick to the groin for Apple's U.S. Mac sales. Ultimately, this could allow HTC to maneuver into a position forcing Apple to work out a cross-licensing agreement. Ironically, when HTC originally purchased S3 Graphics for $300M USD, investors scoffed at the deal. Now it appears that the purchase of S3 Graphics by HTC could end up saving the company.The IP in question covers image compression techniques in software and hardware. The U.S. International Trade Commission Judge James Gildea ruled that while Apple's popular iPad, iPhone, and iPod lines of mobile gadgets are not in violation of the IP, some of Apple's Mac OS X computers are.
This (formerly sealed/non-public) ITC ruling will soon go before a full six judge ITC panel for a final confirmation. I'm sure HTC investors, executives, and employees are awaiting the results with bated breath.