HTC happy after German court stays patent lawsuit

Staff writer, with CNA

Mon, May 20, 2013 - Page 13

HTC Corp (宏達電) on Saturday praised a German court’s decision to stay a patent lawsuit filed by Nokia Oyj against the Taiwanese handset maker because of doubts over the validity of the patent.

The District Court of Mannheim on Friday handed down an order to stay claims by Nokia that HTC had infringed on the German section of the EP0879538 patent, which was likely found invalid based upon the court’s assessment, according to a report by mobile patent news blog FOSS Patents.

The patent, covering a feature that allows enterprise information-technology administrators to send text messages to wireless devices to activate or deactivate certain programs, remained before the German Federal Patents Court after HTC questioned its validity in March, the report said.

The FOSS Patents blog is run by Florian Mueller, an award-winning intellectual property analyst with 25 years of software industry expertise.

“HTC is naturally delighted with this decision, which serves to confirm its view that the strength of Nokia’s patent-portfolio has been greatly exaggerated,” the company said in a statement.

“HTC shares the view of the District Court that this patent will very likely be revoked in the ongoing invalidity actions pending before the German Federal Patents Court and the English Patents Court,” the statement added.

Among the 25 infringement actions that Nokia has brought against HTC in Germany, three have been stayed because of concerns over validity and three have been dismissed outright, according to the Taoyuan-based company.

However, Nokia has repeatedly issued statements to the media accusing HTC of pirating its technology, HTC said.

“As there is clearly no factual basis for Nokia’s statements, HTC can only conclude that these statements are solely intended to damage HTC’s reputation in the eyes of its customers, presumably to pressure HTC into an unfair settlement,” it said.

FOSS Patents reported that the Nokia-HTC infringement proceedings might resume after the Munich-based Federal Patent Court has ruled on HTC’s invalidation complaint, which is unlikely to happen before 2015.

The blog also quoted Nokia’s comment on the decision as saying that the Finnish mobile phone maker looks forward to demonstrating the validity of its patent.

“HTC must respect our intellectual property and compete using its own innovations,” Nokia said.