HTC now has the upper hand in a legal battle with German patent firm IPCom. IPCom won a lawsuit in 2009 related to UMTS technology under which it believed it had the right to ban German retailers from selling HTC smartphones. HTC, however, argued that IPCom’s case was no longer valid and ignored the injunction entirely. As a result, IPCom recently tried to take the law into its own hands by suing more than 100 retailers that continued to sell HTC phones. “Since this deadline has passed without any of the retailers complying, IPCom has sued them for infringement of patent #100A themselves,” IPCom said, noting that it issued cease and desist letters to each retailer on December 6th asking them to stop selling HTC phones by December 20th. According to Taiwan Economic News, the German Dusseldorf court recently granted HTC an injunction that forces IPCom to stop harassing HTC’s retailers with lawsuits. The injunction should be a relief for HTC, which could have faced fines of up to €250,000 for each handset sold under the terms of the original injunction. More →
IPCom has reportedly moved to ban HTC from selling smartphones in Germany. HTC lost a patent lawsuit to IPCom in 2009 and recently decided not to file an appeal against the ruling, likely in an effort to avoid further litigation it might have faced from a ruling on two additional patent cases. HTC may ignore IPCom’s request to stop selling smartphones because it believes IPCom’s lawsuit is no longer valid. According to BBC, HTC has argued that the German Federal Patents court ruled that IPCom’s patent claim was invalid in December of 2010. Whether or not HTC faces a fine for ignoring IPCom’s request will be the court’s decision. “It’s up to the court and could go up to 250,000 euro per violation per phone,” IPCom managing director Bernhard Frohwitter said, noting that IPCom is still willing to settle with HTC if the two companies can reach a licensing agreement.
UPDATE: HTC supplied BGR with the following statement via email: More →
HTC’s German subsidiaries may soon be barred from selling smartphones in the country following HTC’s recent decision to forgo an appeal to a patent lawsuit won by IPCom in 2009. The ban could spell trouble for HTC smartphone sales during the holiday season. “We will likely use the right awarded by the courts, likely resulting in HTC devices disappearing from shops during the crucial Christmas season,” IPCom said, noting that it hopes to enforce an injunction against HTC’s devices as soon as possible. HTC did not specifically say why it decided to pull its appeal, although The Guardian said HTC has previously indicated that its appeal argument was redundant. “While HTC can try to oppose the enforcement of the injunction, my research shows that the odds are very long against HTC on this one,” patent expert Florian Müller of FOSS Patents said, noting that HTC likely withdrew its appeal to avoid a court ruling on two additional IPCom patents HTC was accused of infringing on. The company recently warned that its revenue could fall 8% this quarter after its Android smartphones were met with tough rival devices from competitors Apple and Samsung. More →