German Court Rules HTC Infringed Power Saving Nokia Patent

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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HTC says Nokia patent victory isn’t that big a deal – but will still appeal

A German court has ruled that some HTC devices infringe a Nokia power-saving patent, raising the possibility that the Taiwanese manufacturer may have to pay a license fee for the use of the technology.

HTC says that it is disappointed with the decision and has confirmed its intention to appeal, but downplayed the significance of the ruling and the effectiveness of the patent, which allows smartphones to save power when connected to a network.

The company claims that it has removed the technology from any HTC phone sold in Germany and that infringing devices were no longer being imported into the country. It added that it had only taken these measures to prevent Nokia from “unfairly” enforcing the decision of the Mannheim regional court.

Nokia patent victory

HTC OneHTC said that it will not only appeal, but will also attempt to have the patent in question ruled invalid by the German Federal Patents Court and English Patents Court. The patent has also been asserted by Nokia in the UK and at the US International Trade Commission.

Nokia started 22 different patent infringement lawsuits against HTC in Germany and said that it was pleased with the decision and that it served as confirmation of the strength of its patent portfolio. The court also ruled that infringing devices could be recalled from retail and that Nokia was entitled to damages, also these would have be determined at a subsequent litigation.

Analyst Florian Mueller said that Nokia’s latest legal action was not just about receiving licensing fees for the technology but also to gain a competitive edge over one of its rivals and that the two will eventually come to an agreement.

“Patent licensing is a key revenue source for Nokia, but at the end of the day it wants to increase its mobile handset market share,” said Mueller. “I still believe a license agreement will ultimately be struck, and it may only be a matter of weeks.”

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