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UK court stays injunction against HTC One mini

2013/12/09 19:19:08

Taipei, Dec. 9 (CNA) HTC Corp. said Monday that its customers in the United Kingdom can still purchase the HTC One mini as it appeals an injunction issued by a British court last week blocking sales of the smartphone.

The High Court of Justice of England handed down a sales ban on the HTC One mini on Dec. 3 after HTC was found to have infringed on a patent owned by Nokia Oyj.

HTC immediately filed an application to appeal the court's decision, and the court agreed to schedule a hearing on the appeal for Dec. 12 and allow the One mini to be sold in Britain before then, the company said.

"HTC is pleased that an urgent hearing with the Court of Appeal has been scheduled for Dec. 12. Until the Court of Appeal hearing on Dec. 12, the court's injunction against HTC is stayed," the Taoyuan-based company said in an e-mailed statement.

"Until the hearing on Dec. 12, our U.K. customers will be able to sell all HTC devices which are already in their inventories," HTC said.

The statement came after Judge Richard Arnold in London ruled on Dec. 3 that HTC could not sell the smaller version of its flagship HTC One device in Britain beginning on Dec. 6 after the company was found to have infringed on patents owned by Nokia.

The judge also found that the bigger flagship HTC One model contained microchips that violated a Nokia patent, but he did not impose an injunction against the product to give HTC time to appeal, given that a sales ban on the One phone would cause "considerable" damage to HTC, according to the judgment.

HTC sold approximately 715,000 smartphones in Britain from January to September this year, with revenues of 221 million pounds (US$363 million), the judgment said.

In response to the ruling, HTC said on Dec. 4 that it had filed an urgent application to appeal the injunction and was working with its chip suppliers to explore alternative solutions.

Dale Gai, a Taipei-based analyst at British bank Barclays Plc, said in a research note that Nokia's patent lawsuit would have only a limited impact on HTC's sales in the fourth quarter.

Citing comments from HTC's management, Gai said the company still had inventory of the One mini model in Britain before the injunction was announced and would have product available for consumers to buy up to Dec. 12.

HTC also intends to change the product's design in cooperation with Qualcomm Inc. in the near future to avoid further litigation issues, Gai said.

(By Jeffrey Wu)