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HTC found to be using Nokia’s proprietary microphones in HTC One

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#91 fusi0n

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 15:57

Appealing what decision? The ban on their products, or the use of Nokia tech? Appealing to use Nokia's tech is stupid, but appealing to allow devices to continue being sold while alternatives are fond, is just business. Any other company would do the same. HTC also stated they will start looking for something new immediately.


I agree with you here!


#92 HawkMan

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 16:40

Appealing what decision? The ban on their products, or the use of Nokia tech? Appealing to use Nokia's tech is stupid, but appealing to allow devices to continue being sold while alternatives are fond, is just business. Any other company would do the same. HTC also stated they will start looking for something new immediately.


they didn't stop them from selling phones they already made, just from continued use of the mic in future production.

#93 +techbeck

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 16:44

they didn't stop them from selling phones they already made, just from continued use of the mic in future production.


Yea, i read that. Think initially they were, or thought they were, banned from selling the product all together.

#94 Boz

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 00:52

Source: BBC News

It turns out STMicroelectronics was at fault. They're banned, globally, from selling the mics to any company but Nokia. HTC is going to have to find a new mic manufacturer but they're still allowed to sell current HTC One smartphones.


And that's how it should be. STM is fully at fault here and HTC should replace the components in new phones. This is good news.

#95 tsupersonic

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 02:53

And that's how it should be. STM is fully at fault here and HTC should replace the components in new phones. This is good news.

I don't see how it is good news - this phone is already plagued with delays, and is now 'banned' in Netherlands. They'll have to quickly pick a new manufacturer, perhaps do some slight modifications to the phone, meanwhile pushing this new 'model' to the assembly lines - bottom line is this is going to cost HTC. STM screwed them big time.

#96 archonis

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 05:04

Is this a joke Neowin? My reply was deleted without explanation.

I wonder what alternative they will use and how this will affect price, performance and how will they market it.


They will be forced to use standard microphones from some sort of supplier. So in other words, more inferior microphones which they will no longer be able to market as having "superior sound quality". This will be an impossible marketing situation for them, as average consumers won't know whether they have a One with the Nokia mics or not, and some will probably complain if they see the marketing and then found out their One doesn't do that. They'll have to change the marketing quickly to minimize those situations.

Nokia is the only one in the world that has developed high dynamic range microphones for use in smartphones, and STM is the only company in the world that supplies these microphones, and they are only allowed to supply to Nokia, until their exclusivity agreement ends.

#97 ichi

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 06:28

And I'm also pretty sure they knew it was Nokias mics from the beginning.


Of course they knew, what they couldn't possibly know is the length of the exclusive agreement between ST Micro and Nokia since it was signed under a NDA.

Turns out that they have the exclusive for another 6 months, apparently.

#98 HawkMan

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 07:59

Of course they knew, what they couldn't possibly know is the length of the exclusive agreement between ST Micro and Nokia since it was signed under a NDA.

Turns out that they have the exclusive for another 6 months, apparently.

I'm guessing even after that they would have to pay a license to nokia for the patent of their technology.

#99 ichi

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 12:09

I'm guessing even after that they would have to pay a license to nokia for the patent of their technology.


Maybe not, if ST Micro has a license already. You don't pay twice for licenses.

#100 fusi0n

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 12:10

I'm guessing even after that they would have to pay a license to nokia for the patent of their technology.


I bet they have to pay a large chunk to Nokia now.

#101 HawkMan

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 13:29

Maybe not, if ST Micro has a license already. You don't pay twice for licenses.


But HTC doesn't, that's kind of important to.

#102 ichi

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 14:38

But HTC doesn't, that's kind of important to.


Wouldn't that be the same kind of double dipping Samsung was (IIRC) rightfully accused of when they sued an OEM (not sure if it was Apple or someone else) for infringement of patents that had already been licensed to the provider of the components?

#103 vcfan

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 22:18

Wouldn't that be the same kind of double dipping Samsung was (IIRC) rightfully accused of when they sued an OEM (not sure if it was Apple or someone else) for infringement of patents that had already been licensed to the provider of the components?


it depends on the patent license agreement.

#104 Mordkanin

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 22:24

that's exactly what's going on here, but every delusional windows mobile / Nokia fanboy wants to cry about this and shout "outrage", please give me a break.


I have other reasons to hate STM than just this. (I'm looking at *you*, lying IGBT datasheet writers.... The hours I've wasted at work.....)

However, under many IP laws, you're liable if you sell, import, use, etc. something that contains an infringing technology.

If I buy a chip that someone knocked off, I shouldn't be allowed to sell my product just because it was another company's fault. That's completely unfair to the original IP holder. I do, however, have full recourse to recoup my losses from the jerk who illegally sold me stuff.

#105 ichi

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 22:29

it depends on the patent license agreement.


Of course, that's why I said "maybe not".

If ST Micro is licensing the tech from Nokia then HTC wouldn't have to pay, in the same way as Android OEMs who have signed a patent agreement with MS and have their devices manufactured by Foxconn will now be sharing the license costs (ie, either Foxconn pays, the OEM pays or the costs are shared, but it doesn't get paid twice).

So far the issue is not about patents though (at least not yet) but NDA breach, so we won't actually know what would happen with any related patents until later.