Manufacturer seeking to stop import of rival’s flagship smartphone after High Court validates Nokia’s patent for a technology used to transmit voice and text messages
Nokia is looking for compensation as well as an injunction to stop the import and sale of the HTC One after winning a patent dispute with the rival manufacturer.
The Finnish company is also pursuing similar action against HTC in Germany, Italy, Japan and the US.
The move comes after a UK High Court judge validated Nokia’s patent for a technology used to transmit voice and text messages.
HTC had argued that the technology had been contained in chips it had bought from Qualcomm. It highlighted the fact Nokia had signed an agreement in the US not to sue the chipmaker over the matter.
The Taiwanese manufacturer said it did not need to take out a licence of its own because of a US Federal law known as “exhaustion doctrine”. This states that a patent owner’s rights are ended once a protected article is sold, meaning the patent owner can’t sue a party that subsequently resells the item.
However, a High Court judge wrote that the sale of chips from Qualcomm to HTC had occurred in Taiwan, where the exhaustion doctrine would not have applied.
“If the licensee has no right to sell in the UK, then a purchaser from a licensee cannot be in a better position,” he said. “HTC cannot have acquired greater rights on purchasing the chips from Qualcomm than Qualcomm was granted by Nokia under the agreement.
Nokia said the judgement was a “significant development in our dispute with HTC.”
It added that the US international trade commission gave an initial determination of infringement of two Nokia patents in September while in March a German court ordered HTC to stop infringing a Nokia patent for power saving technology.
However, Nokia has also lost patent cases against HTC. In March, a German court dismissed two patent claims over phone technology.
HTC said it was “disappointed by the decision” and will be looking to appeal immediately.