As a result of the recent International Trade Commission (ITC) ruling that Taiwanese phone manufacturer HTC violated two of Apple’s patents, HTC’s share prices have plummeted. Due to the fears of an import ban on HTC devices into the United States as well as the possibility of having to pay royalty fees to Apple, shares have been falling throughout the past week, and today fell as much as 6.5% as investors panicked.
As the Financial Times reported, HTC announced over the weekend that they would spend between T$18bn and T$22bn (US$622.3m-$760.6m) to buy back 2.44% of its outstanding shares in an attempt to stop their shrinking stock price. Despite the companies' best efforts to stabilize the dropping price, their stock fell to T$871 to close down 3.9% at the end of trading.
While investors continue to shed their HTC stock, the ITC hasn’t actually announced any import ban on HTC products as the agency’s commissioners haven’t as yet supported the ruling. HTC announced they would be appealing the ITC decision, so any final result could be a long time and several million dollars away.
The patents held by Apple and found to be infringed upon by HTC are broad, and could affect other Android smartphone manufacturers such as Motorola, Samsung and LG. It is unclear if Apple will file similar litigation against the other Android device manufacturers, but if they do it could spell a massive legal battle between Apple, Google and the Android phone makers.