HTC appeals One Mini ruling in UK

‘SMART’ MOVE::The Taoyuan-based company said it is pleased that the court did not block sales of its HTC One, to give it time to appeal a patent infringement ruling

Staff writer, with CNA

Thu, Dec 05, 2013 - Page 14

Smartphone vendor HTC Corp (宏達電) said yesterday that it has appealed a London judge’s ruling to block sales of its One Mini smartphone in Britain after it was found to have infringed on patents owned by Finnish rival Nokia Oyj.

Judge Richard Arnold of the England and Wales High Court ruled on Tuesday that HTC could not sell the smaller version of its flagship HTC One device in Britain beginning tomorrow, according to Bloomberg News.

The judge also found that the flagship HTC One itself 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, the report said.

HTC said in an e-mailed statement that it was pleased with the judge’s decision to stay an injunction against certain chipsets, including those in its flagship HTC One, pending the outcome of the company’s appeal against the validity and infringement of Nokia’s EP0998024 patent.

The patent is described as a “modular structure for a transmitter and a mobile station.”

“Whilst the court also granted an injunction that affects other third-party chipsets, we have filed an urgent application to appeal. In the meantime, we are working with our chip suppliers to explore alternative solutions,” Taoyuan-based HTC said in the statement.

Nokia said in its statement that HTC has agreed not to ship any more of the infringing products into the country except for the HTC One, which it may continue to sell until the conclusion of any appeal.

“If HTC does not succeed on appeal, the injunction will take effect on all infringing products. Nokia is also claiming financial compensation for the infringement of this patent,” the Finnish firm said.

HTC started selling the One series in March.

HTC sold about 715,000 smartphones in Britain from January to September, with revenues of £221 million (US$363 million), according to the judgement.

It added that HTC is a small player in the British smartphone market with only a 3 percent market share, compared with a 6 percent share held by Nokia.

The British smartphone market, projected to be worth US$9 billion by the end of the year, is dominated by Apple Inc, with a 39 percent share, and Samsung Electronics Co, with a 33 percent share, the judgement said.

Shares of HTC declined 3.3 percent to close at NT$146.5 yesterday in Taipei trading, underperforming a 0.3 percent gain in the broader market.