German sales to continue: HTC

FLAGSHIP STILL AFLOAT::The company said eight of its nine phones were found to have infringed Nokia’s patent, but the HTC One and its variants were not among them

Staff writer, with CNA

Mon, Dec 23, 2013 - Page 14

HTC Corp (宏達電), the struggling Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer, said yesterday that it would continue selling its HTC One flagship series phones 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 Friday that the court had granted Nokia an injunction against HTC’s Android-based devices, ruling they infringe upon its 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 the 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 lineup of flagship devices. We will still be seeking to revoke Nokia’s 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 the Central News Agency.

HTC declined to comment on whether it would use a workaround design for its future products, adding that the eight phones ruled to be infringing on Nokia’s patent, such as the HTC Sensation and the HTC Wildfire, are all “end-of-life” products that are largely unavailable in Germany.

Nokia said in a statement that the judgement was “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 last year, as it sought to end what it claimed was HTC’s unauthorized use of Nokia’s proprietary innovations. It has filed more than 50 patent violations against HTC in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, the UK and the US.

This year, HTC has been found to have infringed upon Nokia patents by regional courts in Mannheim and Munich, Germany, the UK High Court of Justice of England and Wales and the US International Trade Commission.