Sale of HTC One May Be Banned from UK, Germany, Italy, Japan, U.S. After Nokia Wins Patent Dispute Lawsuit in UK

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By Vittorio Hernandez | November 1, 2013 8:02 AM EST

South Korean tech giant Samsung recently agreed to a European Union proposal to stop filing patent lawsuits against other technology firms in exchange for not paying a hefty fine. However, the EU action was only against the Seoul-based firm.

Other tech firms continue their court battles, and one of them is Finnish phone maker Nokia which is seeking a UK High Court order to ban embattled Taiwanese tech firm from importing its flagship device, HTC One, to the UK.

YouTube/Gaurav Acharya

Nokia is also seeking a wider ban to include key smartphone markets such as Germany, Italy, Japan and the U.S.

Nokia sought the court action after it won a patent dispute over an invention filed in 1988 on the design of modulator equipment used by mobile devices to transmit data.

HTC said the technology is found in the chips it bought from Qualcomm and plans to appeal the court's decision. It also pointed out that the two phone firms inked a deal in the U.S. not to file a lawsuit against Qualcomm over the patent.

It referred to the exhaustion doctrine in the U.S. federal law that a patent owner's rights end when a protected article is sold and the patent owner can't sue another party that later resells the item.

But the High Court thumbed down that argument because HTC bought the Qualcomm chips in Taiwan, not in the U.S.

"If the licensee has no right to sell in the UK, then a purchaser from a licensee cannot be in a better position. HTC cannot have acquired greater rights on purchasing the chips from Qualcomm than Qualcomm was granted by Nokia under the agreement," Mobilenews quoted the court judge's decision.

The ruling also pointed out that the U.S. International Trade Commission provided an initial determination of infringement of two Nokia patents in September 2012, while it March a German court told HTC to stop breaching another Nokia patent for power saving technology.

Nokia said it is the third court since January 2013 to find HTC violating Nokia patents, although in March, a German court favoured HTC in dismissing two patent claims against another phone technology.

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