Nokia Gets HTC One Microphone Component Banned In Holland

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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Nokia tells HTC to stop copying and think of its own ideas

A Dutch court has granted Nokia an injunction that prevents HTC from using the Finnish manufacturer’s microphone technology in the HTC One smartphone.

Nokia made a complaint after its tests discovered that the HTC One included microphone components invented and manufactured exclusively for Nokia.

The Amsterdam District Court agreed and its injunction will prevent STMicro from selling the parts for use in HTC One smartphones until March 2014.

Nokia victory

HTC One WhiteNokia has asserted 40 patents against HTC in the UK, US and Germany and has called on the Taiwanese manufacturer to stop copying its innovations and to compete fairly using its own innovations.

“In its marketing materials, HTC claims that its HDR microphone is a key feature for the HTC One, but it is Nokia technology, developed exclusively for use in Nokia products,” a spokesperson told TechWeekEurope. “Nokia filed this action after it discovered these components in the HTC One; HTC has no license or authorisation from Nokia to use these microphones or the Nokia technologies from which they have been developed.”

The ruling only covers the Netherlands at present, but there is the potential for it to be extended to other parts of Europe as individual courts will be required to consider the decision made in Amsterdam.

HTC One last chance

The extension of the ruling or any potential sales ban could prove catastrophic for HTC which has seen its results hit by delays to the release of the HTC One due to component shortages.

According to the struggling Taiwanese manufacturer’s first quarter 2013 results, sales decreased to NT$42.8 billion (£932m) with profits dropping to just NT$85 million (£1.85m) – well below estimates.

The HTC One had originally been pencilled in for a March release, but problems with HTC’s supply chain meant there was a shortage of components such as metal cases and cameras. It is believed that part of the problem was caused by the fact that the company is no longer considered a tier one customer due to its fluctuating orders in the past year.

The HTC One is widely regarded as the company’s last chance of reclaiming lost market share and remaining competitive with Apple and Samsung at the top of the smartphone arena while also fending off renewed attempts from the likes of RIM, Nokia and Sony.

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