If you were looking to get your hands on a HTC device in Germany, you might want to hurry because according to reports, it seems that Nokia has managed to successfully obtain an injunction against HTC in Germany over an alleged patent infringement. The patent in question is that of battery saving capabilities while using wireless technology, and HTC phones with Qualcomm chipsets in them are said to be the ones that have infringed upon this patent. We’re not sure if all of HTC’s phones will be affected, but for now that seems to be the case. No word on when the injunction will take effect, but we expect that HTC will at the very least appeal the decision, or perhaps even arrive at some sort of licensing agreement with Nokia. After all, if HTC managed to reach a settlement agreement with Apple, why not Nokia, right?
Update – According to a HTC rep who got in contact with us, the devices listed in the injunction cover three handsets that HTC no longer imports to Germany, so we guess HTC will not be hugely affected. HTC’s statement can be read after the break.
Today, the District Court of Mannheim handed down a judgment that HTC had infringed the German part of patent EP 0673175 (the ‘175 patent) entitled “Reduction of Power Consumption in a Mobile Station”. HTC is naturally disappointed with the decision of the court, as it believes that Nokia failed to prove its case adequately. However, as the judgment only covers three handsets that HTC no longer imports into Germany (the Wildfire S, Desire S and Rhyme), this judgment is of little significance. HTC’s German business will not be affected by it.
The power-saving technology described in this patent is trivial and contributes only a negligible reduction in power-consumption, so HTC has removed any allegedly corresponding functionality from all of its current German handsets as a precaution against any attempt by Nokia to extend the scope of the judgment unfairly. HTC will be appealing the present decision but also believes that this patent is invalid and so will be continuing with the invalidity actions pending before the German Federal Patents Court and the English Patents Court.
To date, of the twenty-two infringement actions that Nokia has brought against HTC in Germany, two (EP 1329982 and EP 1474750) have been stayed because of concerns over validity and two (EP 0812120 and EP 1312974) have been dismissed outright. This decision cannot be described as a ‘win’ for Nokia because it only applies to handsets that are no longer imported into Germany, and newer HTC handsets do not use the accused technology. As Nokia clearly went to great lengths to assert its strongest patents first, we are confident that its non-essential patent portfolio poses little threat to HTC.