HTC files urgent appeal after Nokia court case gets One Mini banned in UK

HTC's flagship HTC One has escaped an import ban that could extend to several HTC devices should the Taiwanese company's appeal against a UK court ruling fail.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

HTC has filed an urgent appeal against a UK judge's decision to ban the HTC One Mini, following an earlier ruling that the device infringed on a Nokia patent.

HTC has until 6 December to appeal the High Court's decision to impose a ban on the sale of HTC One Mini devices in the UK, otherwise the block will come into effect at the end of this week.

The One Mini ban is somewhat of a relief for HTC, since its flagship HTC One escaped the injunction for now and won't be precluded from this year's Christmas sales. On the other hand, the injunction may impact more than just the HTC One Mini if HTC's appeal fails.

In October the High Court in London ruled that certain Broadcom and Qualcomm chips left several HTC infringing on Nokia's EP 0 998 024 patent, which covers a "modulator structure for a transmitter and a mobile station". 

Nokia had sought a ban on all devices that used the chips in scope, including the HTC One, One SV, Wildfire S, HTC One mini, One V, HTC One X+, Desire X, 8X and 8S.

A Nokia spokesperson told ZDNet that if HTC's appeal doesn't succeed, all devices that infringe Nokia's patent except for the HTC One could be affected. 

"Pending the appeal, HTC has undertaken not to ship any more of the infringing products into the UK, except the HTC One which it may continue to sell until the conclusion of any appeal. If HTC does not succeed on appeal, the injunction will take effect on all infringing products. Nokia is also claiming financial compensation for the infringement of this patent," Nokia said in a statement to ZDNet.

HTC has filed an urgent application to appeal.

"HTC is pleased by the decision of the High Court of England and Wales to stay an injunction against certain chipsets, including those in our flagship HTC One, pending the outcome of our appeal against the validity and infringement of Nokia's EP 0 998 024 patent," it said in a statement.

"Whilst the Court also granted an injunction that affects other third party chipsets, we have filed urgent application to appeal. In the meantime, we are working with our chip suppliers to explore alternative solutions. As always, HTC's primary focus is on supporting our customers and ensuring minimal disruption to them and our business. Rest assured that our award-winning HTC One handset will be available as usual."

In 2012 Nokia brought patent infringement claims against HTC in Germany, the UK, and the US, where it's also taken its claims to the International Trade Commission (ITC), seeking a ban on the HTC One. In Germany its claims against related to 20 non-essential patents and nine non-essential patents at the ITC, in addition to 18 non-essential patents in separate court suits in the US.

HTC has now been found to infringe on a total of four Nokia patents, including one in Germany, two in the US (though based on a ITC preliminary ruling) and one in the UK.

It's also brought similar patent infringement cases against the company in Italy, Japan and the Netherlands, according to patents expert Florian Mueller.

Nokia will keep its mobile patents business following the sale of its devices unit to Microsoft, and it is likely to become an increasingly important revenue stream for Nokia.

Nokia's patents will be managed by its new Advanced Technologies unit, which will spearhead its bid to sign up companies that are currently "unlicensed", and begin licensing out patents that it had kept unlicensed while it had a handset business.

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