HTC has bought a few more days in the UK as it tries to reverse the decision won by Nokia Corp.
UK court had ordered HTC to stop the sale of HTC One Mini in the country but the appeals court decided to look into the matter again on Thursday and sales ban got lifted temporarily. The two Smartphone rivals have been fighting the case around the globe, because of broader legal offense by Nokia against its rivals for protecting its patent portfolio. The wide-spanning court battles with Nokia have been one more problem for Taiwan’s HTC, which has been struggling to return to profitability.
The court battle comes under the concern in Europe about Nokia’s Patent Strategy. The top European regulator, Joaquin Almunia, warned Nokia on Monday not to become a “patent troll” after it sold most of its handset business to Microsoft Corp. But kept its patents, according to the sources. Patent trolls are companies that do not make products based on their portfolio of patents but use them to extract licensing fees from other companies. Nokia did not respond to the comment of Mr. Almunia’s statement.
HTC got a few more days of sales till the court hears the case again. While Nokia said that HTC has ceased its shipment but the existing inventory can be sold until the hearing. “HTC has undertaken not to ship any more of the infringing products into the U.K., except the HTC One, which it may continue to sell until the conclusion of any appeal on infringement,” Nokia said in a statement. “If HTC does not succeed on appeal, the injunction will take effect on all infringing products.”
Analysts predicted that the case might have a little impact on HTC’s Sales of the 4th quarter as the main device is shipping in limited quantities.
An estimated 200,000 units are being shipped per month by HTC all over the globe. HTC had already sold about 715,000 Smartphones in Britain in the first three quarters of the year, according to the Yuanta Securities Analysts.
But if HTC loses the case in the appeals court, it will have a great impact on HTC One Family. HTC had also stated previously that they are working with chip suppliers on alternative solutions.
The patent battles are diverting HTC’s attention and resources at a time when the company is trying to turn around its business. The company disclosed its first net loss in the third quarter.