HTC vows to fight sales ban in Germany over Nokia's NFC-Bluetooth transfer patent

Summary:HTC faces a possible ban on selling its own devices in Europe's largest market.

HTC's handset sales in Germany are under threat after a court in the country last week cleared Nokia to enforce a ban on HTC products that infringe a Bluetooth and NFC data transfer patent.

The patent in question, EP 1 148 681, covers the transfer of network resource information between mobile devices and could see a number of HTC devices, including its flagship HTC One smartphone, blocked from sale in Europe’s largest market.

The decision by the Regional Court in Munich has handed Nokia its second significant patent victory over HTC's Android devices in as many weeks.

Earlier in December the same court granted Nokia the right to enforce an injunction and seek damages for HTC devices infringing its USB patent EP 1 246 071, which covers a method of configuring two devices using a USB connection.

While Nokia can enforce an injunction on HTC's infringing products, the Finnish company will have to post a €400m bond to pursue the ban, and, according to HTC, any injunction would only apply to HTC itself in Germany, meaning its its customers, such as carriers and resellers, can continue to sell the infringing products.

HTC may also have the injunction lifted if it successfully appeals the decision, which it is planning to do alongside a separate challenge to the validity of the Nokia patent. HTC is also exploring options to modify its devices to sidestep the patent.

"In addition to appealing today's decision, we will continue with our invalidity action pending before the German Federal Patents Court," HTC said in a statement.

"Even though we believe the first instance court should have sided with HTC on the issue of infringement, notwithstanding the appeal that we will file, we are also exploring possible modifications for our handsets to avoid infringement of the patent in question."

HTC said that a number of devices were found to infringe the patents however neither it nor Nokia have said which devices are affected.

Nokia says it has now proved HTC has infringed on seven patents in separate court across Germany, the UK, and the US International Trade Commission.

Just ahead of Christmas, HTC escaped a possible ban on UK sales of the HTC One mini after the UK High Court found several of its devices using Broadcom and Qualcomm chips infringed on one of Nokia’s wireless patents.

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Topics: Mobility, EU, HTC, Nokia, Patents


Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, s... Full Bio

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