If the manufacturers would spend less time in court and more time in designing their smartphones, we might see some of that “innovation” we keep talking about; but seems to elude most new smartphones. The normal contenders are Apple and Samsung, but this time around, we have Nokia and HTC – and HTC can hardly afford to be in court. HTC’s income will be cut even further as a Judge in London ruled that HTC infringed on Nokia’s patents and he banned the sales of the HTC One Mini in the U.K.
According to Bloomberg, Judge Richard Arnold actually cut Nokia a break because he also ruled that the HTC One actually contained microchips that also violated Nokia’s patents. He delayed the injunction because banning sales of the HTC One would cause “considerable” damage to HTC and this would allow HTC time to appeal, as well as give them time to come out with a new model that would not infringe on Nokia’s patents. He stated, “I accept the damage which HTC will suffer if prevented from selling the One during this period will be both considerable and very difficult to quantify.”
The HTC One has been sold in the U.K. since it went on sale globally this past March, but HTC just released the HTC One Mini and HTC One Max the second half of the year. HTC has agreed to suspend all sales of its products in the U.K., pending the appeal. HTC tried to argue that the microchips were “a very small component” and did not warrant a banned on its selling the devices. Judge Arnold said that about 750,000 smartphones, at a value of about US$363 million, had been sold in the U.K. between January and September.
This is not the first time that Nokia has been to court over patent infringements as it took Apple to court and won a case over the chip patent. They settled the case in April 2011 after agreeing to grant Apple a license – possibly Nokia and HTC can come to a similar agreement. Since being purchased by Microsoft in September, Nokia certainly has the financial resources to pay their attorneys.
Let us know in the comments or on Google+ what you think about all of these court cases and how this will affect HTC’s future in the smartphone industry. Do you have an HTC One Mini – it received a good review from Alex here at AH, citing its biggest downfall was only selling it on AT&T’s network.