Featured: Patent Cases Continue to Get Out of Hand (Especially in Germany)


All of HTC's handsets may get a ban in Germany soon because of an injunction from IPCom (sounds like a Intellectual Ventures-like patent troll company). IPCom owns some 3G patents which could help ban all HTC's devices across Germany, especially with the judges that have been ruling there lately, which seem very pro-patents and pro-banning a company's products from the market, no matter how legitimate that companty is.

IPCom actually had their first patent invalided in the trial, but they've later been allowed to bundle a couple more patents, and then they asked for an injunction against HTC. HTC appealed that injunction, which allowed them to continue selling their products in Germany so far, but now HTC is withdrawing that appeal, because they want IPCom to have to start another lawsuit against them, separately, with the other 2 patents.

HTC is hoping that by doing this, they will end the original lawsuit, and since the initial patent was declared invalid, they hope the Court will declare them the winners in that lawsuit and lift the injunction as well. If that doesn't happen, HTC risks having their products in Germany banned for up to 2 years, or whatever amount of time the lawsuit will last and a final decision will be made.

The whole thing is very confusing, but you can see how out of hand these patent cases have gotten. First of all the patent system is so broken because they allow all sort of patents to be admitted, and then all sorts of companies can sue and put injunctions on others to stop them from selling their products, which could end up severely crippling their business.

The patent system has done nothing but cause pain in the market, hurt competition, and discourage start-ups from being built without buying up or filing for patents. I just wonder how long it will take before this whole system will be fixed.

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Lucian Armasu

Senior Writer
Lucian is passionate about writing about different technologies, talking about their potential, and predicting tech trends. Visit his <a href="http://techdomino.com/news">technology news</a> website at <a href="http://techdomino.com/">TechDomino.com</a>.