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HTC hits back at Nokia with legal win in Germany

Finns are ordered to cough up legal costs
Tue Apr 23 2013, 16:41
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TAIWANESE PHONE MAKER HTC seems to have found a way to get over a courtroom loss to Nokia in Holland by scoring a legal victory against the Finns in Germany.

HTC said that on Tuesday the District Court of Mannheim, Germany dismissed a Nokia patent claim, ruling the complaint was "too poor."

Nokia had been arguing that HTC infringed the "German part" - whatever that means - of patent EP 1 581 061 entitled "A Communication Network Terminal for Accessing Internet".

HTC told The INQUIRER that Nokia's claims were dismissed almost immediately after the Finnish firm presented its argument, something that doesn't happen very often. The court went on to rule that Nokia will have to cover HTC's legal costs.

In a scathing statement, a legal spokesperson for HTC said, "This judgment is the most notable to date because, in an almost unprecedented move, the court handed down its judgment immediately after the hearing, indicating that Nokia's infringement case was so poor that the court required no time to deliberate further after hearing Nokia's oral arguments.

"This is embarrassing for a company which claims to have spent over €45bn on R&D over the last 20 years."

HTC went on to talk about how Nokia hasn't had much success in German court, despite being awarded 24 infringement actions. According to HTC, two have been stayed due to concerns with validity, three have been dismissed outright and one sought to ban HTC phones that have since been discontinued.

Given that that adds up to a grand total of six, we don't think Nokia has had too much bad luck. Even so, HTC's spokesperson added, "Together these decisions cast serious doubt on the strength of Nokia's patent portfolio, particularly as Nokia timed the filing of its complaints in order to obtain judgments on its strongest patents first.

"Nokia's R&D spend is clearly not reflected in the quality of its patent portfolio and we remain confident that Nokia's portfolio poses little threat to HTC."

This win for HTC comes mere hours after Nokia was awarded an injunction against the HTC One in Amsterdam, with a court there having ruled that the HTC flagship Android smartphone uses microphone technology that Nokia owns.

It's unclear whether Nokia will seek a sales ban against the HTC One in Europe, and the firm was not immediately available for comment. µ


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