HTC may face US Android import ban over two Nokia patents

HTC faces new troubles in the US after the International Trade Commission issued a preliminary decision in Nokia's favour over two of its patents.

HTC faces a possible import ban over several Android devices after finding itself on the wrong end of a preliminary ruling by the International Trade Commission (ITC) over two Nokia patents.

On Monday, the ITC released its initial determination over three patents in a complaint Nokia filed against HTC in May last year, in conjunction with separate complaints against RIM and ViewSonic. 

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The ITC found that HTC had infringed Nokia's patents 7,415, 247 and 6,393, 260, but found no violation of a third patent number 5,884,190

Since the ITC can only offer injunctive relief rather than damages, the court has offered Nokia an avenue to block certain HTC devices from being sold in the US.

According to Reuters, Nokia has asked the ITC to ban included HTC Amaze 4G, the Inspire 4G, Flyer, Jetstream, Radar 4G, Rezound and Sensation 4G.

Nokia also filed a second complaint against HTC at the ITC in May this year aimed at the Taiwanese company's flagship device, the HTC One, adding to separate suits across Europe and Germany. 

"Nokia is pleased that the initial determination of the ITC confirmed that HTC has infringed two of our patents. Local counterparts of one of these are also already in litigation against HTC in London, UK, Dusseldorf, Germany, and Rome, Italy. We will reserve further comment until we have had the chance to study the judgment in detail," a Nokia spokesperson told ZDNet.

Patents expert Florian Mueller notes that both Nokia and HTC can petition the ITC for a review of findings that were not in their favour, adding that a possible outcome is that HTC takes a licence for the patents from Nokia.

Nokia's devices and services business is set to be acquired by Microsoft in a €5.4bn deal, while Nokia will retain 30,000 patents from that business which will be licensed to Microsoft on a non-exclusive basis for the next 10 years. 

HTC is also one of dozens of Android devices makers that have signed up to Microsoft's Android licensing agreements. 

HTC declined to comment on this story.

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