Nokia Legal Scuffle with HTC Over OTA Patent Thrown Out in Germany

In the lengthy patent battle between Nokia and HTC, Nokia has scored some major wins. However, HTC is getting a bit of relief today as Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents is reporting that a German Judge has tossed out Nokia's suit claiming HTC infringed on its EP0804046 patent. The patent deals with over-the-air updates, but Mueller is quick to say that it doesn't concern all OTA updates. Instead, the patent covers technology that allows users to accept calls while downloading an OTA update, and according to Nokia, there's enough evidence to show HTC was infringing it.

However Judge Dr. Matthias Zigann, presiding over the 7th Civil Chamber of the Munich I Regional Court, doesn't see it that way. Judge Dr. Zigann threw the suit out on that basis that the way HTC implements memory in its devices isn't consistent with what the patent calls for. Therefore, in Judge Dr. Zigann's eyes, HTC's devices aren't infringing the patent. This is certainly a pleasant turn of events for HTC, which as Meuller points out, has been fighting Nokia in courts across three different continents.

However, this seems like a small win in the grand scheme of things. We heard just a couple of days before the end of 2013 that Nokia had been granted a Germany-wide injunction on all HTC Android devices found to be infringing patent EP1148681, provided the company can put up a €400 million bond while HTC appeals the ruling. It seems like Nokia would almost certainly put up the cash, considering it's been pretty ruthless in pursing infringement rulings against HTC around the world. Should it post the bond, HTC will be placing its hopes on a successful appeal, as blocking the sale of all infringing Android devices across the entirety of Germany is a little more substantial than just a small setback.

Needless to say, Nokia isn't too happy with Judge. Dr. Zigann's decision. "Nokia respectfully disagrees with the judgment of the Regional Court in Munich, Germany, which today ruled that HTC products do not infringe Nokia's patent EP 0 804 046," the company said in a post-ruling statement. "Nokia is considering an appeal of this decision." This particular patent war seems to show no signs of slowing down any time in the immediate future, so you can be sure there will be more headlines featuring Nokia and HTC on the way. For more on this specific ruling, be sure to stop by FOSS Patents and read Mueller's full write-up.

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Eric Abent

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Eric has been writing about the consumer electronics industry for the past three years, specializing in computers, video games, and of course, Android. Currently, his weapon of choice is a Nexus 4, after a rather difficult parting with a reliable Atrix HD. If there's one thing he loves more than attribute bonuses, it's hearing about the next big news item.
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