Nokia and HTC are currently going at it in courts all around the world, and today, we’re finding out about a big win for Nokia in Germany. The information comes from Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents (we call him “ol’ reliable” around these parts) and details a new Germany-wide injunction that blocks the sale of HTC Android devices found to be infringing Nokia patent EP1148681. The patent in question deals with connecting phones to one another through NFC or Bluetooth to share certain information.
This news is not good for HTC, as the injunction includes the refreshed HTC One line of devices. It should be noted that the injunction hasn’t been put in place just yet – whether or not HTC faces a sales ban is up to Nokia at this point. In order to move ahead with the injunction, Nokia will have to put up a â‚¬400 million bond, which translates to about $550 million US. The bond is there as something of a safety net for HTC – while Nokia can put the injunction in place immediately, HTC has the opportunity to appeal this latest ruling. Should HTC be successful with its appeal, it can use the bond money to recoup any lost sales that were caused by the injunction. Nokia needs to put the bond up now so the money is there in case HTC wins the appeal and Nokia’s financial situation has changed in the interim.
HTC will definitely be appealing this ruling, and Mueller points out that Nokia has enough money to post the bond needed for the injunction. With that in mind, the likely outcome here is that we’ll see Nokia begin to enforce the injunction while HTC makes its appeal to the courts. While all signs are pointing toward an injunction, it’s important to remember that Nokia hasn’t confirmed whether or not it will post the bond, so this could potentially go either way.
Still, in a statement made after the ruling, Nokia didn’t mince words. “HTC’s first New Year’s resolution for 2014 should be to stop this free riding and compete fairly in the market,” the company said, suggesting that it isn’t going to go easy on HTC. We’ll have to see how this all plays out in the days to come, but don’t be surprised to see Nokia go on the offensive now that it has the ruling it clearly wanted.