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HTC Says Willing to Negotiate With Apple on Patent Dispute

HTC Corp., the Taiwanese smartphone maker locked in a patent battle with Apple Inc., says it’s willing to negotiate with the iPhone maker after both sides scored victories at the U.S. International Trade Commission.

“We have to sit down and figure it out,” Winston Yung, chief financial officer of the Taoyuan, Taiwan-based company, said by phone today. “We’re open to having discussions.”

HTC on July 6 announced a $300 million deal to buy S3 Graphics Co., less than a week after that company won an ITC ruling against Apple over two patents. In a July 15 initial determination, the same commission ruled in Apple’s favor on two other patents.

“We are open to all sorts of solutions, as long as the solution and the terms are fair and reasonable,” Yung said. “On and off we’ve had discussions with Apple, even before the initial determination came out.”

Yung said he’s not aware of any formal talks having been held since this month’s two separate ITC rulings. Carolyn Wu, a Beijing-based spokeswoman for Apple, didn’t immediately answer three calls to her mobile phone today.

HTC shares have lost 7 percent since it announced July 6 that it would buy Fremont, California-based S3 Graphics from a fund controlled by HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang and VIA Technologies Inc., which is also chaired by Wang. The stock climbed 5.7 percent to NT$970 at the 1:30 p.m. close in Taipei, the highest since July 7.

Apple violates two S3 Graphics patents related to compression technology, the U.S. ITC said in a July 1 notice. HTC infringes two Apple patents related to data-detection and data transmission technologies, the commission ruled July 15. Both rulings are subject to review.

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