Nokia's patent victory forces HTC to rethink designs

Struggling smartphone maker, HTC, has lost yet another patent lawsuit against Nokia which may result in a sales and import ban in Germany if the company fails to remove the infringing technology.

Nokia and HTC have been involved in numerous lawsuits in the UK and Germany since 2012, over unlawful use of nearly 50 patents by HTC in their smartphones. Now, a German court has ruled that HTC has infringed on Nokia's patent EP1579613 which defines a "method and apparatus for enabling a mobile station to adapt its revision level based on network protocol revision level." This is the fourth win for Nokia in Germany alone. Recently, Nokia managed to get the sales of the HTC One mini banned in the UK for using chips that violated Nokia's patents. 

HTC announced, in response to the ruling, that it will make an appeal to the German Federal Patents Court while investigating design changes to continue shipping smartphones in the country. The Taiwanese company also insisted that the functionality defined by the patent is no longer used in any of the company's smartphones in Germany.

Nokia issued a statement, saying that, the company is "pleased" by the result as it gives them the authority to enforce a sales ban and seek damages from HTC.

Source: Focus Taiwan via ZDNet | Image via ZDNet

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29 Comments

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Topic title together with the picture clearly talks about external design of the HTC Windows Phone handsets and its similarity with Nokia's

Yet the article is about the technology inside the HTC Android phone? So what does that picture have anything to it?

Other sites report this story with a comment from HTC which said something to the effect of, "We'll investigate removing this redundant technology from our handsets"

I own an HTC One and I absolutely love the phone. The camera sucks but the design, features and everything is brilliant. Sadly though I feel that the company will not be able to recover. This year may be the last year for HTC. I'm expecting some Chinese company to takeover. This patent war will go on and I don't see an end to it. I guess this sucks for HTC big time.

My last HTC phone was the Trophy (Which only lasted 3 months) after that switched to a Samsung Focus then to my Nokia, I have to say I was not impressed with the HTC and probably would never buy one again.

winrez said,
My last HTC phone was the Trophy (Which only lasted 3 months) after that switched to a Samsung Focus then to my Nokia, I have to say I was not impressed with the HTC and probably would never buy one again.

Odd. Myself and two friends owned Trophy's. They're all still kicking. In fact another friend is now using my Trophy as they liked the device. I've never had an issue with HTC's build quality. They're always solid...

Poor HTC they finally moved away from the old reference design they used for about 5 years straight only to end up in a legal battle.

I think HTC has lost their way a lot and failed to innovate like their competitors, that being said there were some nice innovations and detail that went into the 8X. I hope they continue that trend but their relationship with WP looks tenuous.

Osiris said,
Poor HTC they finally moved away from the old reference design they used for about 5 years straight only to end up in a legal battle.

I think HTC has lost their way a lot and failed to innovate like their competitors, that being said there were some nice innovations and detail that went into the 8X. I hope they continue that trend but their relationship with WP looks tenuous.

It really does, where are the new GDR3 HTC phones? No 5" HTC One WP variant or anything. After they released the 8X and 8S they forgot about it. They haven't even bothered to update the apps that come with them. Also no signs of any new WP8.1 devices being tested.

At this point I'm sure MS could give them a nice deal for the OS, free for a bit or at a new lower price but honestly it doesn't seem like HTC will be around after 2014 at this rate.

Wouldn't it be in Microsoft's interests to strike a deal with HTC, given they're one of a handful of manufacturers shipping their OS?

Nashy said,
Wouldn't it be in Microsoft's interests to strike a deal with HTC, given they're one of a handful of manufacturers shipping their OS?

They haven't done anything for WP since the initial 8X and 8S. They're halfheartedly releasing something just for the heck of it and not bothering to back the devices up with better support. I own a 8X, it's a nice device but they release and forget, no updates to the apps or anything. If they'd put more into the WP line then sure but they're really not at this point. Where are WP versions of the One line for example? Heck we already see evidence of a new Samsung WP8.1 device in the works but nothing for HTC.

To be fair - they where the only and first ones on WP7 with a range of handsets. unfortunately the physical keyboard was not followed further by them

Nashy said,
Wouldn't it be in Microsoft's interests to strike a deal with HTC, given they're one of a handful of manufacturers shipping their OS?

Nokia owns the patents, not Microsoft. Also Microsoft will not be acquiring the patents with the mobile division, only the mobile division and the rights to use Nokia patents.

Deviate_X said,

Nokia owns the patents, not Microsoft. Also Microsoft will not be acquiring the patents with the mobile division, only the mobile division and the rights to use Nokia patents.

I wondered if that were the case. Cheers.

Patent war is getting stupid, copyright is for the rich. You should be allowed to rip movies from the blurays/dvds that u already own -- one word, stupid.

starman444 said,
You should be allowed to rip movies from the blurays/dvds that u already own -- one word, stupid.
Depending on where you live you are allowed to, for backup purposes. (Even if you aren't practically speaking you can go right ahead, who can stop you or even know for that matter?) Obviously you can't distribute the rips to others though.

Why? The One is a great phone - I would say the best Android phone on the market. If they keep making phones like that, and less of the phones they made a year or so ago, then I don't see a reason why they shouldn't see a resurgence.

That being said, I'm a One owner, but I enjoy this phone more than I've enjoyed any phone before it.

Yes why? I have had HTCs and other phones but always come back to HTC, now on the One. Do you want it to disappear because you don't like it? I don't like apple phones very much but I don't want them to disappear.

Gladiatorus said,
It's time for HTC to die.

I'm a big WP fan and even I don't want HTC to die. They make great phones, 8X and 8S in my case.

Northgrove said,
This happens when people comment before they think. Competition is healthy for everyone.

Nothing wrong with competition but are they even that? Looking at the smartphone market for 2013 Samsung and Apple are top dogs with numbers 3-5 way behind. At this point htc is fighting for scraps. There are lots of makers in the market, I think too many, we honestly don't need 20 phone makers, 10 or even less is fine for competition, maybe then we can have a stronger #3-#5 and not so far back behind the first 2.

Gladiatorus said,
It's time for HTC to die.

What a great idea!

Competition is BAD for us customers, it forces companies to lower prices, offer better products and innovate. And God knows we don't want/need low prices, better devices and new innovative products!

M_Lyons10 said,

Yeah, HTC makes good phones. That just seems like an odd statement.

I think the problem is not the phones, but their support for their crappy phone software. They drop support for their "flagshit" phones too soon, while I have a GS3 from Samsung which is supposed to receive the Kit Kat update.

Northgrove said,
This happens when people comment before they think. Competition is healthy for everyone.

only as long as its not agressive