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HTC says German injunction will not impact One series sales

2013/12/22 14:22:11

Taipei, Dec. 22 (CNA) HTC Corp., the struggling Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer, said on Sunday that it will continue selling the HTC One flagship series phone in Germany, despite a German judge's patent-infringement ruling in favor of its rival, Nokia Oyj.

Judge Andreas Mueller of the Regional Court in Munich announced on Dec. 20 that the court had granted Nokia an injunction against HTC's Android-based devices, claiming they infringe upon the EP1246071 patent, which is a "method of configuring electronic devices," according to a blog post by technology patent expert Florian Mueller.

The patent helps PCs determine which driver to use when connected to a smartphone using a USB port, which is a key USB-related technology, but not a standard or essential one, Mueller said.

HTC, in response to the German court's ruling, said eight of its nine Android mobile phones were found to have infringed upon Nokia's patent, with the HTC One and its variants -- the One mini and One Max -- being found not to have infringed on the patent claimed by Nokia.

"This means that HTC will continue to supply our customers with our entire line of flagship devices. We will still be seeking to revoke Nokia's EP'071 patent in our pending nullity action in Germany, as we believe it to be invalid," the Taoyuan-based company said in an e-mailed reply to CNA.

HTC declined to comment on whether it will use a work-around design for its future products, adding that the eight phones ruled to be infringing on Nokia's patent, such as the HTC Sensation and HTC Wildfire, are all "end-of-life" products that are largely unavailable in Germany. Nokia said in a statement that the judgment is "another significant milestone" in its ongoing dispute with HTC, enabling Nokia to enforce an injunction against the import and sale of all infringing HTC products in Germany, as well as to obtain damages for past infringements.

Nokia began its actions against HTC in 2012, as it sought to end what it claimed was HTC's unauthorized use of Nokia's proprietary innovations and has claimed more than 50 patent violations against HTC in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.

During 2013, HTC has been found to have infringed upon Nokia patents by Regional Courts in Mannheim and Munich, Germany, the U.K. High Court of Justice of England and Wales, and the U.S. International Trade Commission.

(By Jeffrey Wu)