Nokia on the offensive, wins German patent injunction against HTC

Just as many gamers have shouted over the headset in excitement, "BOOM! HEAD SHOT!" Nokia has won a patent injunction against HTC in Germany. Yes, we're aware that many of you have grown tired of such news being covered, but it's a Windows Phone OEM being attacked by another, so it's certainly worth noting exactly what's going on.

It's reported HTC has since disabled the patented power-saving technique in question on affected hardware. This change will lead to poorer battery life, further hurting the Taiwanese product line which incorporates Qualcomm baseband chips. The company is fighting back and it's believed a deal will be struck between the two parties at some point.

So what's the patent all about? As noted above, it's to do with power saving and expanding the life of the battery by identifying packets of data that can be reconstructed from only a portion of an encoded message. Whenever possible, power is provided to the receiving component only if and when further portions must be received in order to fully decode the packet. It's useful for only utilising components when required.

FOSS Patents reports the injunction is permanent and can be enforced preliminarily. In addition to the sales ban, Nokia also won a recall of infringing devices from retail, unless HTC complies with a license deal being struck or said infringing functionality removed. Nokia is also taking the patent claims to the US and the UK.

It was only last week that we reported on ViewSonic also negotiating a settlement to pay license royalties to Nokia. Nokia is asserting 40 separate patents against HTC in the three markets (Germany, UK and US), though the Taiwanese manufacturer is countersuing Nokia in Germay in two cases, involving one of its own power management patents.

Here's Nokia's official statement:

"Nokia is pleased with this decision, which confirms the quality of Nokia’s patent portfolio. Nokia has also patented this power saving invention in the US, UK, France, Italy, Sweden, Austria, Japan and Hong Kong. In addition to this case in Germany, we have asserted the patent against HTC in the UK and in the US International Trade Commission, with a hearing in the US scheduled to start in two months’ time. More than 30 further Nokia patents have been asserted against HTC in other actions brought by Nokia in Germany, the US and the UK. HTC must now respect our intellectual property and compete using its own innovations."

Nokia is currently struggling to build market share and patent licensing is a revenue source for the company. HTC has responded that the manufacturer will continue to fight against the claims and we're certain they won't go down without a fight. Once again, we're all sat around the patent table watching large companies point fingers and chuck sums of money to one another.

We'll no doubt be returning to this topic as the situation progresses or more names are drawn onto the patent battlefield. 

Source: FOSS Patents

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.

  • What changes will this mean for HTC users exactly?
  • read the article. Poorer battery life.
  • All hail the king Nokia, first is HTC then Nokia will get on Samsung LG Sony huawei and everyone else, Nokia will get much more royalties from those companies and will make more and more awesome windows phone devices, I love u Nokia, now plz give me viber and I'm done
  • We are not worthy of King Nokia's patent slayages.
  • The good thing is that Nokia can justify their patent claims unlike Apple, whose innovation consists of taking the ideas of others, then presenting it to the public as if they invented it.
  • And another bits tha dust lol
  • And another one bites the dust?
  • i think another bit bites the byte
  • It should be noted though that the court in Mannheim gives away injunctions easier than the 2 dollar hooker on the corner.
  • I really don't like Nokia's new attack dog stance towards HTC, as it reminds me too much of Apple, BUT at least this patent is highly technical and not "square with rounded corners".
  • They have the right to, because they're the ones who invented it. ;)
  • The gods of mobile technology, and the gods of patents have done it again!
    When you're as innovative and talented as King Nokia, these patents come in handy when you're pestered with insults and distrust.
    HTC, has been hammnered with their last nail in the coffin, you've had a good run.
    Samsung, Apple watch out.  Those sales your having now will be crippled by King Nokia's patent claims, and chances are you'll loose.  So better pay up those royalties before it's too late.
    Apple has been #1 for only 3-5 years, and there is no way to go but down.  Better count those pennies before you'd be scrapping Nokia's trash for a living.
    Lord Elop-sus, always saving the state of the mobile industry.
    King Nokia, lord Almighty of the mobile industry, has awaken from his long deep slumber, and now taking charge to gain what Apple and Samsung has stolen while he sleeps
  • A bit melodramatic, but yes mostly true, innovation and competition are both good
  • Are you on crack?
  • He is not.. He just likes to praise Nokia's innovations. He goes beyond the line though lol.. Its too much fanboyism
  • Apple never was number one on moblie.....
  • Apple already pays Nokia :)
  • Nokia has a right to get royalties for its patents. But it changes nothing to the fact that Nokia is putting itself out of business by not not making low and mid range Android Smartphones. A patent deal between HTC and Nokia will probably be reached at some point. I still think that HTC and Nokia should get back to making a profit and merge their Smartphone businesses. HTC has far better QC than Nokia and together a HTC-Nokia would be a potent player in Android and Windows Phone. HTC would engineer all the high end devices and Nokia all mid and low end devices. They would innovate together. The HTC One is more than enough evidence that HTC is capable of building way better high end hardware.
  • Stop dreaming and asking Nokia to put their awesome hardware on junk OS like Android.  Low budget Nokia WPs do much better and not laggy like low budget Androids.  At least right now Nokia is established its top position in WPs, instead just another Android phones.
  • Nokia has been a legend in this market that they have such great insticts when they know they are in trouble.  I'm glad that Nokia partnered up with the best OS there is!
  • What? This is so..... stupid! Can someone really patent a method to improve battery life?
    Think how far behind our cars would be now if a manufacturer had decided to patent a method to save fuel....
  • You are trolling, no?
  • Actually, I am not, I think that this kind of tecnologies really shouldn't be patented, but well, as cannon said above, it is better than patent squares with rounded corners....
  • So Nokia should be a charity? Invent stuff so that others can use it without compensation?
  • So they are suing them for not using their patented technology??
  • What the WFT?
  • What the fuck? Well fuck you, I want my battery life.
  • Nokia sucks.
  • Just wow!
  • Nokia is a bitch, just like Apple on court. This is what you're supporting when you buy a Nokia and give money to them: the stagnation of innovation.
  • Before Nokia fanboys start exploding in orgasm, maybe you should read the statements and details on the case and the devices this affects, all three of which are not even offered in the German market anymore, run old hardware and software, and allegedly use technology which even if valid aren't infringed in HTC's current lineup and so have no impact on the current market. Nokia may continue to limp along with a patent win here and there, but their refusal to diversify away from Windows Phone is destroying shareholder value and limiting their long term viability as an independent company. The stock is only a good buy as a potential takeover candidate by Apple, Google, or MS or in the hopes they'll reclaim market share by diversifying with Android, where they can potentially compete with Samsung on a larger scale. The problem with Nokia isnt their hardware but with Windows Phone and its inability to gain traction or offer a competitive advantage over iOS or Android, and with Microsoft potentially entering the hardware fray directly they'll be competing directly against MS, which is more dangerous than competing against Google with Android as there is better ability to differentiate. I'm probably going to incur fanboy wrath by saying this on a WP fan site, but so be it. When I owned a Lumia what made the experience bad was the software, not the hardware. Nokia shareholders should be screaming for Elop's head.