Today in Germany, the District Court of Mannheim ruled that HTC was not guilty of infringing on two patents owned by Nokia, including one involving the use of Google Play on HTC Android devices. The patent (EP0812120), which nebulously covers a "method for using services offered by a telecommunication network, a telecommunication system and a terminal for it," was one that HTC called the "flagship patent" in the suit that alleges over 45 intellectual property violations by HTC.
The same legal action was also taken against Viewsonic and Blackberry (formerly Research In Motion) in Germany, the UK and the USA. Blackberry settled, leaving Viewsonic and HTC to battle it out with Nokia in the courts.
HTC rejoiced at the decision saying:
"HTC respects the intellectual property rights of others, but believes that Nokia has exaggerated the scope of its patent in order to extract unwarranted licensing royalties from Android handset manufacturers. HTC also believes that the '120 patent is invalid, and will continue with invalidity actions pending before the English Patents Court and German Federal Patents Court. We fully expect the patent to be revoked before any Nokia appeal proceedings take place."
Nokia said in a pretty bitter statement that it "respectfully disagrees with the court's decision" that it is looking into what further recourse remains.
"As we said in May 2012, we took these actions to end HTC's unauthorised use of our proprietary innovations and technologies. More than 30 further Nokia patents have been asserted against HTC in other actions in Germany, the US and the UK and we anticipate that we shall prevail in these. HTC must respect our intellectual property and compete using its own innovations."
A separate decision that was handed down today concerning EP1312974 went in favor of HTC as well. The District Court of Mannheim will next decide on Nokia's claim that HTC violated EP0673175, a patent covering power-saving, on March 19. Patent expert, Florian Mueller, expects that decision to fall in Nokia's favor.
While Nokia is certainly not the only company playing the patent lawsuit game, it is one of the busiest. They recently decided to back Apple in a suit against Samsung.