HTC and Nokia set for patent wars

HTC can't seem to catch a break. Having only recently just settled with Apple over patent disputes, the Taiwanese company is preparing to battle Nokia over 32 different issues around the globe. The patent allegations range from syncing databases within a time to solutions with antennae design. If you're interested in the whole list of complaints, head over here.

The question is whether HTC should fight all these allegations or pursue a cross-licensing deal with Nokia. Florian Mueller, an industry patent watcher, comments that he thinks the wise move for HTC would be to avoid the costly legal battle and license the technology. He states

"I believe in a Nokia-HTC license deal for two reasons. One, Nokia has some really powerful non-standard-essential patents. Its SEPs are broadly licensed, but its non-SEPs account for almost 90% of its portfolio of 10,000 patent families and companies like HTC still need to license it. Two, HTC has proven in the past that it's not interested in endless court fights but quite willing to pay royalties to patent holders."

The first set in Germany will take place before the end of this month. It would be a huge win for struggling Nokia if it either wins these lawsuits or enters a licensing deal with HTC. For HTC the silver lining can really only come from licensing with Nokia so that it can focus it's energy on adding more quality handsets to it's portfolio, like the 8X. We'll learn more over the coming weeks and months about the outcome and possible ramifications for Windows Phone.

Source: Foss Patents

  • Man, this kind of stuff is never fun.
  •  For HTC the silver lining can really only come from licensing with Nokia so that it can focus it's energy on adding more quality handsets to it's portfolio, like the 8X.
    Either way this plays out, I'm hoping that both companies survive and thrive under the Windows Phone brand. Microsoft needs both of them to really bring Windows Phone to battle with Android and iPhone.
  • Ouch. Talk about kicking someone while they're down.  1st, they gotta pay royalties to MS for each Android device.. then they gotta pay up to Apple.. and now Nokia?  It's like 19th century China: everyone's trying to get a piece.
  • Good catch, thanks. I'm thinking both companies will settle as quickly as possible. 
  • okay...
  • Hope HTC gets sued by Nokia. Here the comments come.
  • Uh, the are!
  • Not major though.
  • Nokia should discount them any license when it comes to windows phones and full price for Android. WP needs the push and if HTC starts putting out some good devices, it will only help the brand, plus I want to see a reboot of the touchpro 2 with a 4.5" screen.
  • Here here! Touch Pro 8 with 4.5" screen and I'm sold without reading a review or even seeing it!
  • My TP2 is still sitting right next to me. I run XDAndroid on it.
  • The real humor will begin when Apple opens it's portfolio of patents and strips Nokia naked.
  • Check your facts nokis portfolio is so robust There's a Nokia and apple cross liscencing deal
  • You do know they hold by far the most expensive patent portfolio in the industry? They use 9th most money to R&D in the world at 4 billion euros a year. Motorola is peanuts there compared to Nokia. 
    Apple pays for every iPhone to Nokia, everybody pays. Nokia owns majority of essential WiFi, GSM, LTE patents in the world. Nokia invented GSM, txt messages, build in ceramic antenna's, most of the wireless protocols and builds much of the networks in the world (NSN). Check Google for some information there. 
    Nokia has cross licensing deals with every of the big manufacturer. HTC just hasn't pend to Nokia's terms so they will go to court about the cost of licensing Nokia patents. 
  • Finally someone who knows what there talking about
  • Yep indeed. Best way.. Royalities are always a plus :)
  • Just curious. If everyone pays Nokia why were they broke before Microsoft bailed them out? Why is their stock so low? Why are they having to sell their office building? Why are they closing factories?
  • easy.  They spend too much money.  Last quarter alone total revenue of 9.2 billion dollars.  That's a lot (microsofts revenue last quarter 17.4 billion ). They used around 10 billion dollars that quarter so they posted a loss.  They're still trimming the fat from moving from Symbian to Windows.  But they still spend money on R&D like no other.  That's why you get such an innovative device in the Lumia 920 and a rich patent portfolio.  In my opinion, I think Nokia is too in love with their R&D lol.
    If Nokia decided right now to stop making smartphones, their stock would surge up.  Reason being is that the 4 out of 5 of their business is very profitable and has good growth.  Just the 1 smartphone division is losing a lot of money.  But where is the fun in that, you want to invest where the money is at which is in smartphones :).
    If windows phone gains traction, nokia stock will multiply.  The reason the stock is so low is because "the street" (wallstreet) has absolutely no clue how windows phone will do.  There's a lot of uncertainty and it's easy to cause fear and manipulate the stock downward using this fear.  They had no clue on the iphone 5 numbers either and the Apple stock tumbled.  Android is no longer a free ride.  You'll start seeing a lot more companies release windows phones now.
  • That's because, what others pay is still not enough to make billions of dollars profit. Nokia has expenses too, not just earnings. 
  • Nokia isn't broke. They have a huge amount of cash. People just freak out when they see share prices low.
  • I like you
  • Nokia has already essentially won against Apple in court, cross-licensing plus royalties. Try again.
  • Dumb comments
  • Dumbest. Post. Ever. I mean really, words don't even describe how absurdly ignorant your post is... although I see others are taking a stab at explaining.
  • +1
  • Lammmmeee
  • Gosh... The color on that 920 in the pic looks so washed out. I'm hoping that's just the theme that looks like that
  • That's the "slate" theme, and yes, it is that flat by design. I kinda dig it with the red Lumia, because then my phone is the official OSU colors! OH-IO! GO BUCKEYES! :D
  • Still waiting for my yellow 920. Hope it comes Saturday, and ships tomorrow!!
  • And what is OSU??
  • @unstoppablekem. Forgive him if you don't live in the States but if you do then I would conclude you have been living under a rock for refusing to know the mighty OSU. The BUCKEYE NATION rocks. Maybe I should invite you to Columbus to enjoy a Red Army jamboree.
  • My maize lumia just shipped ;)
  • The theme is actually really vibrant, the pic was taken by a 920
  • This is no way to get a launch started. Hopefully this is settled quickly...
  • Time for the Surface phone to materialize, as this is BS from Nokia at a time when WP needs to win.
  • +1
  • And when the Surface comes out, Nokia, HTC and apple will go after ms on patents as well. Never ending loop of bs.
  • Wrong, MS has cross-patent licensing with Apple and Nokia. Get you facts before commenting
  • Google(Motorola) just sued MS for the Surface.
  • Are in the process of suing
  • Wtf...
  • Come on MEN... POOR HTC...NOW WHAT..
  • That's what happen when u make android..even apple settled with nokia... Omg patent trolls
  • HTC knew this was coming
  • HTC has enough of WP. Samsung see this and also suits WP. WP has no choice left besides for yesterdays Nokia 810 and 822 and if anybody wants a hero WP will have to switch to ATT. The Nokia fanboys are happy and consumers all migrate to Android and iPhone. MS looses significantly in WP devision. Thus the birth of "The Surface phone RT and pro". Nokia soon dies off.
  • There isnt a single competitor that doesnt use nokia's cell patents in their phones. All of them pay nokia royalties. Nokia portfolio of patents is the largest in the world of any phone company in the mobile business. Apple, Samsung, HTC , Google etc would not be where they are if it wasnt for Nokia.  
  • Why Nokia not sue a long time ago. Bunch of BS I say.
  • Nokia has this funny habit of trying to negotiate agreements before they take case to court. Same happened with Apple.
  • Oop, Samsung quits WP...
  • Would be nice. If Microsoft would of just made their own device wp8 would be better off.
  • You two are complete idiots!
  • Id like Nokia to use that patent money to cover the losses by distributing to everyone but AT&T and Rogers if those two won't carry the Lumia 940 (or whatever the next version will be called) without exclusivity deals. I bet Nokia would sell more phones in North America that way.
  • Great, exactly what Windows Phone needs right now -.-  .
  • I bet ATT is in on it. Every will soon have no choice but to sign up with ATT in order to get a great WP.
  • Is there any particular reason why you show two Windows phones in an alleged article about patent disputes that have nothing to do with Windows Phones?  This is about HTC and Nokia's patents not about either company's Windows phones.  The photo has about as much relationship to the case as a photo of a Samsung laptop and Apple MacBook would have to that case. 
  • i hope nokia tanks now that they have htc to battle with. HTC 8X is the better phone in the hand and pocket! screw patent law...
  • That's a childish thing to say. Both companies bring very nice things to the table and give us choices for our Windows Phones. Nokia put WP back on the map after HTC and Samsung effectively ditched it for Android and now HTC is, thankfully, back in the game for WP. These are good things and hopefully they will get their differences resolved and focus on their phones.
  • Oh guys, court will not solve the problem. It will rather waste time and resources. I think mutual agreement is better. Hope we don't read court news again
  • It seems, that many (even the writer of the article) don't have any idea, why Nokia went to court with HTC. To be clear, it didn't happen recently. These legal proceedings takes years. And, as Swyost already mentioned, this has nothing to do with Windows phones. I don't know, why WPCentral (or others) haven't posted an article about this when these things started. The timing feels a bit odd now, almost purposeful. Nokia is known as a very fair player in the field of IPR. They are willing to cross license their patent portfolio with very fair terms. Too bad, that even if Nokia tried to make a "peaceful" settlement with HTC for years, they refused to sign up. Nokia couldn't do anything but go to court with HTC. As they have done with many others, who were not not willing to agree, that they are hurting Nokia's IPR. (Apple vs. Nokia is probably the most recent famous one, resulting Apple paying to Nokia from every iDevice they are able to sell) Again, Nokia is not the bad guy here. HTC and other similar players are the "outlaws". Imagine yourself in a situation, where you have invested years and years of work into your breakthrough technology, and billions and billions of dollars. When you are finally finished, and get your product ready, your neighbor steals all your ideas and starts to produce a similar product, without paying you a cent. Would you feel sorry for your neighbor? "Poor fellow, I don't want him to pay me anything for my work even if I just spent billions of dollars to make this happen"? I don't think so. I really hope, that Nokia wins this case with undisputed results, as it is not only a win for justice, not only a win for Nokia, but it is a lose for Android. This would show for the first time, clearly, that Android is based on stealing other companies' work. You should be happy about this. Sorry for the rant, but I felt that too many people are commenting, without knowing anything.
  • LOL. Android is perfectly fine, Samsung, Microsoft, and Nokia get along just fine. 
    Don't tell me you fell for that Apple claiming prior art as their own garbage and actually think that Apple invented everything?
    Hating Android for their success is perfectly fine but accusing them of copying is laughable.
  • Then why isn't Apple, MS, and Nokia going after Google directly? I'm stumped till this day!
  • That would have to be because of the customization done to the Android, so even if the core is the same in Android it does not mean its the same OS, things like TouchWiz etc. matter at this area. And thats not exactly true Microsoft is in court with Motorola and Google owns Motorola so isnt that kind of like beign in court with Google?
    As far as I can remember Motorola and Nokia were few of the first who did a cross-licencing agreement and this happened in like -98? Then came Samsung and others followed. Most of the time Nokia has done the cross-licencing with very reasonable terms, that actually has something to do with the fact that you cant connect into a GSM network unless you use Nokias patents and few other similar situations. But of course Nokia wants to protect its patents, its the only one in the industry who actually spends a lot into the R&D and most of the time when something really jaw-breaking is invented its done by Nokia. Few examples to cover my last statement: SMS, GMS, TouchScreen (Well actually colored touchscreen, IBM did this in mid 80's while Nokia patented its touchscreen patents at 2000-2002), Many aspects of 3G and 4G/LTE.
    This case between Nokia and HTC has nothing to do with Windows Phone, infact it has very little to do with Android there were few patents which concern Android but most of them were hardware and signal reception solution patents, these are the kind patents Nokia uses against others when it wants the fastest possible solution to the issue, they want a cross-licencing agreement and they want theyr royalties, this is a measure to force HTC into that solution.
  • Partly because of the customization done to the Android OS and also because, if I recall properly, Google uses a loophole where, because their OS is free, they technically aren't making money off of Android. Of course you and I know that they make it by gathering peoples info and selling it to every Tom, Dick, and Harry but that doesn't translate on paper into making money off of the OS. Not just that but the companies using Android do a lot of the actual stealing too. Unfortunately, when they get caught Google just says their usual "we will continue to push for innovation" spiel without doing a thing to help their partners or trying to find a way to license the needed patents to cover the companies who are making them money.
  • LOL. Who the hell runs HTC? How the hell did they decide that paying Apple for prior art and rounded rectangles took priority over this? You can fight Apple because they just have bull crap but this should have just been signed, like everyone else did.
  • I think, the only original in HTC's handsets is Beats Audio.
  • Yeah, they will settle... If not, HTC can buy Nokia for small change in a couple if years the way quality issues at Nokia are going.
  • HTC and what money? Don't be ridiculous.
  • Quality issues?!?
    And its not like HTC don't have flaws in quality.... Such a naive idiot! Lemme guess, HTC fanboi pissed?
  • Sure they can...
    Nokia total assets $46 billion
    HTC total assets $6 billion
  • HTC is dumb for going after the phone king