UK judge blocks sales of HTC One Mini for violating Nokia patent

The HTC One Mini went on sale in the UK in August, but today a judge in that country has banned the sale of the Android smartphone because it violated a patent belonging to Nokia. Bloomberg reports that Judge Richard Arnold ruled that chips inside the HTC One Mini were found to be using Nokia's patented technology.

The story says that the sales ban officially commences on Friday, December 6th. However, the judge delayed placing an injunction against the smartphone until HTC can file an appeal to today's ruling. While HTC has yet to offer an official comment, Nokia said in a statement that HTC has agreed not to import any more of the One Mini devices into the UK pending the appeal. The smartphone is a 4.3 inch version of the larger 4.7 inch HTC One, with a 1280x720 display, a dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage.

Today's verdict is the latest piece of bad news for the Taiwan-based HTC, which recently announced it would try to launch new and cheaper smartphones in order to become profitable again, rather than compete in the higher end market.

Source: Bloomberg | Image via HTC

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19 Comments

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That's funny, but I know what you mean. Nowadays it's even hard to create something new without wondering on whose patents you're stepping on (which is why patent trolls exist), not to mention how ridiculous the entire patent system itself is. I bet more than half the awarded patents will be canceled if someone bothers to dig up the necessary evidence of prior art.

I was under the impression that patent licenses were paid as part of the price of the IC.

I guess it is possible that they used some chips that were "knockoffs" and were not already paying Nokia for the licensing or something....

Javik said,
Yes, you obviously know more about this than a court armed with all the facts.

Not really, it's in the news reports.

"At issue is a hardware patent for a "modular structure for a transmitter and a mobile station," technology found within the HTC One and HTC One Mini smartphones."

"but an HTC One ban in the UK will be delayed pending HTC's appeal because pulling the HTC One from the market would significantly impact HTC's business."

HTC is struggling in the smartphone market? They better switch to Android pronto. We all know that switching to Android is a panacea to any company needing a boost in the phone market, right?

Android has nothing to do with this. Their phone would have been banned if they used Nokia tech in their WP devices.

Edited by techbeck, Dec 3 2013, 5:29pm :

"would've". I know I'm being a grammar Nazi, but this irritates the heck out of me and indicates an ignorance of apostrophes, contractions and the written word and only familiarity with the way it's spoken.

"would've". I know I'm being a grammar Nazi, but this irritates the heck out of me and indicates an ignorance of apostrophes, contractions and the written word and only familiarity with the way it's spoken.

He fixed it!

zhangm said,

He fixed it!

Yep, ninja style! I know being a subscriber allows you to edit your post later, and I didn't quote him deliberately. Just felt compelled to post this one time after seeing the same mistake being made repeatedly, but TBH would get rid of my comment now if possible since it has served its purpose.

Romero said,
"would've". I know I'm being a grammar Nazi, but this irritates the heck out of me and indicates an ignorance of apostrophes, contractions and the written word and only familiarity with the way it's spoken.

I think you meant to write:

"...indicates an ignorance of apostrophes, contractions, the written word, and only familiarity with the way it's spoken."

You had too many "and"s .

Techbeck and I go back to some nice long discussions. So I get defensive when someone grammar nazis him.

Romero said,
"would've". I know I'm being a grammar Nazi, but this irritates the heck out of me and indicates an ignorance of apostrophes, contractions and the written word and only familiarity with the way it's spoken.

At least it's better than "would of".

As for the article: There goes any last remaining chance for HTC to do more Windows Phone...

Shadrack said,

So I get defensive when someone grammar nazis him.

Heh, first time I've seen "grammar Nazi" used as a verb! Anyway, don't worry, no more grammar attacks against your dear pal.

_dandy_ said,

At least it's better than "would of".

That's what it was initially.

As for the article, never say never. There are no permanent friends or foes in business, and if HTC fully licenses the patents from Nokia there's no reason why they would be prevented from releasing more WP devices. Given that Microsoft+Nokia would probably be the sole WP device manufacturer, I think they would welcome it if HTC or anyone else showed renewed interest in their platform.

Romero said,

Heh, first time I've seen "grammar Nazi" used as a verb! Anyway, don't worry, no more grammar attacks against your dear pal.

Some people call English a "living language" . I was applying that thinking to my new verb creation.