German court shuts down one of Nokia's patent suits against HTC

In a somewhat unexpected twist to this never-ending battle between Nokia and HTC, the Taiwanese company has scored a win in Germany with the courts closing down Nokia's patent suit. The case covers a patent relating to technologies enabling mobiles phones to receive calls while downloading over-the-air-updates.

The two companies have been locked in the patent war for some time with multiple suits being filed against HTC and Nokia prevailing in numerous cases. Nokia subsequently released a rather touchy statement, "HTC's first New Year's resolution for 2014 should be to stop this free riding and compete fairly in the market." The company is considering appealing the verdict.

As lightly touched on above, the verdict comes just weeks after the court ruled in Nokia's favour against HTC for violating a patent. This court ruling is important to Nokia, specifically because the company is in the process of being absorbed by Microsoft, to then focus on managing its patent portfolio (as well as HERE and NSN).

We'll keep you all updated, should Nokia look to appeal the verdict.

Source: FOSS Patents, via: ZDNET

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Sorry, but he title should read "German court shuts down one of Nokia's patent suits against HTC"  
  • Fair call :-) 
  • Wow. Didn't expect that.
  • Yeah, especially it is just weeks after the previous decision.
  • Well that was unexpected but better than a Nokia wining and then having HTC leaving WP segments because angry directives.
  • HTC are almost non existent now in WP, all their eggs are in the android basket. Unless they unveil a high end WP at MWC or Build and give it proper support as opposed to churning out stock updates, I'll take that back :p.
  • I don't know about proper support but their WP have been some of the first to push out GDR3 before Nokia.
  • That's because Nokia also had to push out the Black update . HTC had just GDR3
  • That doesn't mean they didn't push firmware updates with GDR3.
  • It's pretty easy to just push Microsoft's stock update down the line. Lest we not forget, Nokia also has to work on getting their firmware flavor to work across a wide variety of devices.
  • That doesn't mean they haven't provided firmware updates. TMo got updates back in Sept. for camera updates an other. Lets not forget along with the GDR3 push they add powered off charging. The fact is HTC has sucked at providing new phones but they have at the very least shown support with keeping the OS updates and some firmware and. Was more consistent in updating across the board as opposed to, for example, the 920 having such widespread updates and not even having the unlocked version being updated. Before the ATT versions.
  • Let's not forget that Nokia has done more for the WP platform than HTC has done since day one. All the exclusive apps, the Nokia apps, the dedication to the success of wp platform, innovation in hardware and more have given Nokia a loyal fan base in the WP market share. HTC could release 5 phones today and very few Lumia owners would switch over...
  • That's not the point of discussion. I'm simply pointing out that with what they have they have still shown support for it when they could had abandoned the handsets like they did with the One X. We all know that Nokia is defacto for WP.
  • This is quite unexpected, maybe the German courts were trying to prevent Nokia from becoming a patent troll.
  • I don't get the concept behind calling companies "patent trolls". Why? Because they're protecting their property? God forbid Nokia should go after companies who steal the product of Nokia's investment in research, right? I think Nokia (or any other tech company) should indeed go after every single violation of their company's patents. In Nokia's case, that's particularly important. Seeing that Nokia will be losing the thing that gives them their international size, weight, love and money - the D&S division - and will be reduced back to a small Finnish company, they better make sure they sue the hell out of anyone who dares to use a patent of theirs without proper licensing first. Any company. Microsoft included.
    That's not being "patent troll". That's called "protecting the fruit of your labour".
  • +520
  • Stop.
  • from my own understanding, a real patent troll, is a company who buys/aquire patents for technologies it will never use.   for the purpose of sueing other companies for using said technologies. the problem is with the system, not the companies.. i mean who in their right mind would grant a patent for rounded corners,,  why cant others be granted patent for sharp corners? and so on..  its ridiculous
  • Can you remember the Metro UI incident?
  • You go to Court because in your opinion someone is, allegedly, using "your property".
  • "in the process of having their d&s division absorbed by Microsoft" would be better phrased, Rich, so that it's clearer that Nokia itself is NOT being absorbed by Microsoft and will continue to operate separately and filling lawsuits against companies infringing their patents ;)
  • Nokia are still retaining all of their patents, including those used by the D&S division. So yeah, Nokia will continue to take action against any patent infringements, as they're required to do.
  • Exactly. That's why I suggested that "Nokia, specifically because the company is in the process of being absorbed by Microsoft" would be changed to "Nokia, in the process of having their d&s division absorbed by Microsoft". Because that's all that's being absorbed. Microsoft bought Nokia's D&S employees, nothing else. So it is false that "the company is in the process of being absorbed by Microsoft".
  • Absolutely, Nokia is quite a lot more than just the phones.
  • I think I misread what you wrote initially, so yeah - I agree! I blame it on being tired and almost midnight :P
  • This is not unexpected like people assume. Just because it got denies now, doesn't mean that it will get denied during appeal process. This is how a typical patent lawsuit goes.
  • Report concern to Microsoft.
  • This patents thing disgusts me.
  • If I spend a few years and lots of money to develop a new form of toaster that is clear like glass yet works with an automatic cleaning function and basically looks like two clear posts to sandwich the bread, I'm going to patent the hell out of it. Not only that, I'm going to sue anyone who makes a similar toaster. I am protecting my intellectual property. My design. My idea.
  • Not anymore you don't. I'm taking your idea and running with it. Transparent toaster....not bad.
  • Too late. I've already filed for it.
  • We will be locked up in court for years while Marco Gomez is disgusted!!
  • Too late. I've already built it. Prior work winssssssssssss :P
  • I have a time machine and just went to invent this toaster 2 years ago with rounded and sharp corners. I win
  • after having the slice toasted, will it butter it ?
  • Obviously I'm all in with Nokia, but I still like HTC. I'm rooting for HTC in this case. I don't want to see them leave the mobile space. Now, if it was Samsung, that would change my slant on it drastically...
  • I thought I read the title wrong at first, simply because it's so unexpected, considering the decision made just a matter of weeks ago.
  • It's not the same patent, so there are zero reasons why the decision would be "unexpected". Patents are analysed individually. And the decisions can change depending on the Court. Rule number one in patent-related lawsuits: expect the unexpected. ;)
  • I'm pretty sure that's a rule for life in general, but thanks all the same. :P
  • It seems that HTC was able to prove that their devices don't download updates and make calls simultaneously.
  • Either that or the German court tossed the case out due to it being frivolous or for some other legal reason(s).