Nokia's HTC One Mini sales ban overturned in the UK

Nokia's HTC One Mini sales ban overturned in the UK

Summary: A ban on the One Mini has been stayed, allowing HTC to resume shipping several of its devices in the UK.

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HTC can resume shipping its One mini handset to the UK after an appeal court suspended an earlier injunction banning the device from sale due to a patent dispute with Nokia.

The UK appeals court stayed a High Court injunction on the HTC One Mini, handed down last week, over Broadcom and Qualcomm chips used in the device which were found earlier this year to infringe a patent held by Nokia. 

While the ban only referenced the HTC One Mini by name, the ruling also forced HTC to suspend all imports of devices that contain the infringing chips. HTC was given a chance to appeal the injunction before the HTC One Mini ban took effect, which it successfully did on Thursday.

The High Court in London ruled in October that multiple HTC devices infringed Nokia's EP 0 998 024 patent, including its HTC One, One SV and Wildfire S. Nokia had sought a ban on all the infringing devices; however, the High Court injunction was limited to the HTC One Mini pending the outcome of a separate HTC challenge to the validity of Nokia's patent.

HTC is now working with its chip suppliers "on alternative solutions" and says it will resume shipments to the UK.

"HTC is delighted that the Court of Appeal has granted a stay on the injunction against our products. We will immediately resume shipment of all of our devices into the UK, including the entire HTC One family," HTC said in a statement.

"Similarly, our customers should feel confident in their ability to promote and sell all HTC devices. Even though we plan to aggressively appeal the validity decision of Nokia’s EP 0 998 024 patent, we will continue to work with our chip suppliers on alternative solutions to ensure minimal disruption to our business in the future."

HTC's flagship the HTC One escaped the injunction since, unlike the HTC One Mini, as it was made prior to HTC's knowledge that it infringed on the patent, according to patents expert Florian Mueller.

Nokia said in a statement: "Nokia was pleased that the UK High Court imposed an injunction on certain HTC products which it found in October to infringe a Nokia patent. The UK Court of Appeal has stayed the injunction until a full appeal hearing next year and Nokia welcomes the Court's invitation for the parties to expedite this. It is unfortunate that the stay means that HTC can continue to benefit from its unauthorized and uncompensated use of Nokia innovations. We look forward to the Court of Appeal confirming that the patent is valid and infringed, lifting the stay on the injunction and awarding Nokia financial compensation for HTC’s infringement.

"The same patent comes to trial in Dusseldorf, Germany next  month and is also in suit in Paris, France; Rome, Italy and its US counterpart is in Nokia’s second complaint against HTC at the US International Trade Commission. Nokia began its actions against HTC in 2012, with the aim of ending HTC's unauthorised use of Nokia’s proprietary innovations and has asserted more than 50 patents against HTC in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, UK and US. During 2013, HTC has been found to infringe Nokia patents in venues including the Regional Court in Mannheim, Germany, the UK High Court and the US International Trade Commission."

Further reading

Topics: Mobility, HTC, Nokia, Patents, EU, United Kingdom

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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