iphone-apps.jpgSan Diego – The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Taiwan’s top industrial research organization, is planning to adopt three main strategies to assist smartphone maker HTC Corp and other Taiwanese IT firms in defending themselves in international patent lawsuits.

As its first step in its campaign to provide new legal strategies for local high-tech businesses, ITRI plans to raise at least $3.45 million by the end of this year. 

The three proposed strategies include assisting Taiwanese firms in obtaining international patent rights, fighting for the invalidation of competitor patents, and changing the legal playing field from the United States to China.  ITRI officials stated that nearly thirty percent of patents challenged in infringement lawsuits were found to be invalid in the U.S. and that filing invalidation lawsuits could prove to be a more practical and economical approach than buying patents.

As for moving the patent battleground to China, ITRI expressed their opinion that this would be the most advantageous move for Taiwanese firms that have invested heavily in the Chinese markets.  The fact that having patents registered in China at only one tenth of the cost they would be in the U.S. makes it economically attractive to Taiwan.  ITRI officials claim that patent litigation has become a common corporate business strategy used by large companies to expand market share and hinder the advances of competitors, as in the case of Apple vs. HTC.

By obtaining patents in China, Taiwanese businesses would be able to block the sale of competing products that violate such patents, leading to increased market share for Taiwanese companies in China, all in the efforts of reinforcing its global position.

Founded in 1973, ITRI was organized to bolster Taiwan’s economy by replacing labor-intensive industries with technology-driven industries.  Not only is it Taiwan’s largest applied technology R&D institution, but ITRI is also credited as being a pioneer in developing Taiwan’s semiconductor industry. 

ITRI emphasized that it will not be utilizing state money to fund the campaign and that it will be collecting an annual fee from local companies to continue its efforts.