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

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.

TOPICS: Mobility, HTC, Nokia, Patents, EU

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.

More on this story

Topics: Mobility, HTC, Nokia, Patents, EU

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

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, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • I think you are wrong there

    To quote.... from FOSS ( which is 99% correct)
    "HTC can and undoubtedly will appeal this ruling. But in the meantime, unless HTC manages to convince the appeals court right away that it is more likely than not to succeed with its appeal (a reasonably high hurdle), Nokia can enforce this injunction (including a recall of infringing devices from resellers and commercial users) on a provisional basis by posting a 400 million euro ($550 million) bond or giving security to the same amount. This is a permanent -- not preliminary -- injunction following an early first hearing held in October 2012 and a full trial held a few months ago (which I did not attend). But enforcement is provisional until all appeals are exhausted.

    Nokia has enough cash to be able to afford the provisional enforcement of this injunction. The purpose of the bond is just to enable HTC to recover wrongful-enforcement damages should it prevail at the end of the proceedings "

    This is up to Nokia.... and how quickly HTC license the 50 patents they violate.
    7 have been processed in courts and ALL 7 HTC lost.

    HTC will pay or have work arounds that are not as good....
    And that means also device to device (samsung /htc) will not work most likely