Did Apple blow $100 million in its legal fight against HTC?

Apple's lawyers may have spent a small fortune pursuing Android companies that have allegedly infringed on its patents, a report claims.

Apple has been a vigorous defender of its intellectual property. Shown here is its store in Beijing. Apple

Apple may have spent $100 million in its legal assault against HTC over what it believes is ripped-off technology used in Android mobile devices.

That's according to Dan Lyons, who posted on his blog today about the rumored $100 million price tag for legal expenses for Apple's first set of claims against the company.

A representative for Apple wasn't immediately available to comment to CNET on the figure.

If true, that represents a significant cost--even for a company as cash-rich as Apple--for little gain. After more than a year of legal wrangling, the U.S. International Trade Commission came down in Apple's favor for only one of 10 patents, which HTC says it is readying a workaround for. The ITC also gave HTC several months to implement the workaround.

Apple is pursuing legal action against a number of Android players because it wants to halt the growing momentum of Google's mobile platform. Ultimately, however, it will likely have to settle with some sort of resolution and cross-licensing agreement, although the companies are far apart in agreeing who would pay for what.

Apple has another claim pending with the ITC, and is fighting off claims of infringement from HTC. Apple is also embroiled in an even more complicated and wide-ranging lawsuit with Samsung Electronics.

While $100 million may seem like much, it's mere spare change for a company that earned a profit of $6.62 billion in the third quarter alone. Apple is expected to report a blowout fourth quarter tomorrow .

As such, neither Apple nor its Android opponents look ready to settle anytime soon.

 

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