HTC has had enough problems lately, but they added another one to their pile when the District Court of Mannheim, Germany, ruled on Jan. 31 that HTC had violated Nokia’s patent EP1579613 for a “method and apparatus for enabling a mobile station to adapt its revision level based on network protocol revision level.” HTC said that will immediately appeal the German’s court decision, but in the meantime it will change the design of smartphones to make sure the current ruling on the design does not affect future devices. In a filing on Saturday to the Taiwan Stock Exchange, HTC stated, “The functionality found to be infringed is redundant and no longer in use in Germany and we are investigating modifications for our handsets to remove this redundant technology. This ensures that there will be minimal disruption to our customers while we pursue an appeal.”
In a blog post, German technology patent expert, Florian Mueller, described the patent in question – it “plays a role in backward compatibility between new devices and networks running older technologies.” In a separate statement, Nokia said that it was “pleased” with the ruling – this will prevent HTC from importing and selling all devices in Germany that infringe on that patent, as well as obtain damages for their past infringement. HTC has not had much luck against Nokia in the German courts – they have lost four times, with three of them being over the past two months. Nokia first set its sights on HTC in 2012 for using Nokia’s proprietary innovations, and has since has claimed 50 patents against them. Courts in Mannheim and Munich in Germany, the U.K. High Court of Justice in England and Wales, and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) have all found that HTC has infringed in one way or another on Nokia’s patents.
No models of smartphones were discussed, but with them working on the new HTC M8, they will want to make sure that their designs are updated so the launch can go smoothly. HTC claims that they will continue to appeal however, if they were able to find a work around, they should just do that and move on and save more court costs rather than deplete their cash reserves. Please let us know on our Google+ Page how you feel about all of these patent infringements that Samsung and HTC have supposedly infringed on – do you think they purposely designed devices knowing that they infringed on other’s designs, hoping that they would not get caught, or is this technology so complicated that they did it without knowing.