An administrative law judge for the U.S. International Trade Commission has dismissed one of Nokia's nine patent infringement claims against HTC, patents blog Foss Patents reported today.
HTC argued that the patent, which deals with routing data to an app, is a standards-essential patent. ITC Administrative Law Judge Thomas B. Pender agreed, dismissing the one complaint.
Standards-essential patents are ones that companies must offer to other companies on a fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) basis. The idea is that fair licensing of intellectual property is needed for devices from different manufactures to work together properly. Most of the time, these patents have to do with cellular standards.
The commission could choose to overrule Pender's decision.
Technology companies in recent years have increasingly turned to the ITC to settle their disputes. Companies can pursue an ITC case in parallel with civil lawsuits, and the threat of an embargo on products typically forces them to settle more quickly.
HTC was notably the first Android partner sued by Apple, setting off a wave of litigation in the wireless industry. HTC with Apple last year.