Microsoft may be in the process of acquiring most of what makes up Nokia to most people, but that hasn’t stopped the Finnish technology giant from pursuing what it perceives as infringement by HTC upon its intellectual properties.
A recent ruling by a Munich court has awarded Nokia an injunction against all of HTC’s Android smartphones, including the (pardon our enthusiasm and improper grammar) extraordinarily outstanding HTC One series, that prevents the troubled Taiwanese company from importing any Android handsets into Germany.
Given the integration of the European Union countries, HTC might be lucky that the ban affects a single territory.
The debate has to do with connecting two of HTC’s smartphones over NFC or Bluetooth. By pairing the two devices, and sending a small bit of info, like a URL, or contact, Nokia says that HTC is stepping where it shouldn’t be.
We aren’t sure if Nokia and Samsung (or any other Android manufacturer that puts NFC into its phones) have reached an agreement over licensing or whether further lawsuits are planned, since Samsung et al. all make products that perform the similar actions.
It’s even built into the operating system by Google, if the phone has the requisite hardware.
This is a permanent injunction following a similar court case in October. HTC can (and likely will) appeal, and under German law, the injunction isn’t valid until all appeals have been exhausted. Nokia can force the injunction to take place now by posting a $550 Million (USD) bond to cover damages should the injunction be overturned.
Given their bank accounts, they might do just this, which will force HTC to recall every unsold Android device from Germany until such time as a software update removes the offending feature.
Nokia is suing HTC over various patent claims in the United States, the U.K., Germany, Frankce, Italy, the Netherlands, and Japan.
Given how commonplace these features are becoming, it’s difficult to sympathize with software patent holders and not think that the patent system needs an overhaul.
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