Nokia Seeks HTC One UK Sales Ban After Winning Patent Dispute

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 wants compensation and an HTC One UK sales ban after High Court rules in its favour

Nokia is seeking an injunction preventing the import and sale of the HTC One after winning a parent dispute in the UK’s High Court, potentially heaping further misery on the struggling Taiwanese manufacturer.

The dispute centred on the design of a modulator used by the HTC One to transmit data, which Nokia successfully proved infringed its 1998 patent. The company is also seeking compensation for the infringement.

Nokia HTC patent dispute

HTC OneHTC had argued that the technology had been deployed in processors purchased from Qualcomm, and said it did not need to acquire a license because of a US Federal law known as the ‘exhausted doctrine’, that states a patent owner cannot sue a party that subsequently resells the item. It also pointed out that Nokia had agreed not to sue Qualcomm about the matter.

However a High Court judge said this did not affect the rights gained by Nokia when it registered the patent in Europe, adding that HTC could not have acquired more protection than Qualcomm just by purchasing its products. In any case, the chips were purchased from Qualcomm in Taiwan, making the US law irrelevant.

Nokia, whose handset division is due to be bought by Microsoft for £4.6 billion, is also taking legal action in Germany, Italy, Japan and the US, and has also taken HTC to court for a number of other alleged patent infringements.

Any sales ban would be a huge blow to HTC, which has received critical acclaim for the HTC One, but has not been able to translate this goodwill into sales, with the firm posting its first ever quarterly loss earlier this month.

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