Nokia wins one against HTC in German patent case

A court finds HTC to be violating a patent held by Nokia, but whether the ruling will change the German marketplace in any way remains to be seen.

Nokia has won a patent infringement suit in a German court, but the companies can't quite agree whether it's a major victory or not.

According to Foss Patents' Florian Mueller, the Mannheim Regional Court today ruled that HTC is infringing a Nokia patent related to saving battery life by identifying packets of data that can reconstructed through the use of only a part of an encoded message. According to Mueller, Nokia was awarded a permanent injunction, giving the company the opportunity to enforce the ban by posting a $6.5 million bond. Nokia can also request HTC recall all infringing patents.

In a statement on the ruling, however, HTC downplayed the victory, saying that it related only to three devices -- the Wildfire S, Desire S, and Rhyme -- that the company no longer imports into Germany. The company also said that its German business will not be affected in any way by the ruling.

Nokia, meanwhile, celebrated the decision, saying that "HTC must now respect our intellectual property and compete using its own innovations."

Mueller, who has been following the patent infringement claims brought by and against technology companies around the world, believes that HTC's statement on the affected devices is only partially true. He claims that the devices included in the infringement case were "exemplary" and don't just stop with those three. However, he also said that he believes HTC has removed the infringing feature from other devices.

Regardless, HTC said that it will appeal the court's decision.

Nokia's win today comes a little under two weeks after HTC won a ruling in the same court. That ruling found that HTC had not violated two Nokia patents related to delivering services over a telecommunications network.

Looking ahead, the companies' battle is far from over: there are still dozens of patent-infringement claims Nokia brought against HTC that have yet to be ruled on.

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