HTC faces German sales ban

Another patent judgement could mean more fiscal pain for HTC

November 28, 2011

The patent wars continue to rage, with shots being fired on a number of fronts.

Samsung has already suffered at the hands of Apple in Germany, but now it’s HTC’s turn, although the Cupertino company isn’t wielding the bits of paper in court this time.

In actual fact it’s a firm called IPCom who first dragged HTC into the courts over two years ago regarding patent infringements.

IPCom picked up its mobile patents from Bosch, but HTC had been planning an appeal against the previous judgement which was due to happen imminently.

However, HTC has now decided to withdraw its appeal, leaving IPCom in a position to immediately enforce its claim.

And that’s exactly what the company intends to do, which means that HTC smartphones could be removed from German shelves shortly, depriving them of crucial Christmas sales.

Whereas IPCom is crowing victory, HTC doesn’t accept that – unsurprisingly – and apparently had considered the claim redundant anyway due to another judgement made a year ago, according to a report on Bloomberg.

Confused? Indeed, although other whispers indicate that HTC may have dropped the appeal because it was tied in with another two patent judgements. By dropping the matter, these extras will have to be brought to court from scratch, hence this is a tactical manoeuvre.

Whichever way you look at it, though, this isn’t good news for HTC, as no matter what legal noises it’s making, the company is facing a ban at the worst possible time of the year.

While HTC has had some big success with Android, it’s currently struggling more, and has already said that it’s revenue for the final quarter will be down to the tune of almost 10%.


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