These days things do not look very bright for Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC, but the company is hopeful it’s just the bad luck and next year everything will change. Things are quite complicated for HTC particularly in Germany where the company has entered into a legal battle with a German patent company IPCom, which claims HTC illegally uses in Germany one of its 3G technologies.
IPCom sued HTC in one of German courts and won an injunction over HTC smartphones, which allegedly used patented IPCom technology. The decision was banning HTC 3G smartphone sale in Germany. HTC appealed against this, but then suddenly withdrew its appeal, stating another German court has found there is no patent issue on the case. Accordingly, HTC used German “instruments” against the German company, because one court can’t point out the other’s mistakes. At the same time HTC announced all these legal proceedings did not and will in no way harm its sale in Germany, but the fact this is damaging the company’s reputation is obvious. HTC says it has done modification of the UMTS standards, and now there is no patent breach. To this IPCom responded it is impossible to work out the patent.
The German company previously sued Nokia and is very definite on upholding its field of dominance. It announced if HTC does not comply and continue selling in Germany UMTS-capable devices, then IPCom will initiate against it a procedure under German law called “Zwangsgeldverfahren.” It is unclear what exactly this means, but the mere sounding of this word is really ominous. Most probably it has to do with fines, which can be imposed up to complete suspension of license. Anyway, HTC is not going to retreat from Germany and looks forward to the beginning of 2012.