Patent licensor IPCom has ordered HTC to stop selling all of its 3G devices in Germany, claiming that the Taiwanese manufacturer is infringing a patent relating to 3G technology.
IPCom has threatened further legal action if HTC refuses to comply, stating that it could pursue its case under a German law called Zwangsgeldverfahren. This is a penalty system that allows a series of fines to be charged until an infringer agrees to comply with the court order.
"HTC's claim that it is 'business as usual' in Germany is utterly misleading," said Bernhard Frohwitter, managing director of IPCom.
"Fact is: the patent in question [patent #100; EP 1 186 189] is valid, and the Mannheim ruling of February 2009 covers all HTC 3G devices, since the patent covers a mandatory 3G standard, valid for all devices and networks."
IPCom maintains that HTC will have to redesign products as it will not be able to use an "unspecified work-around" to avoid infringement. However, HTC shows no signs of backing down and claims that the patent is invalid.
"On Friday, HTC withdrew its appeal in the German IPCom EP1186189 case. HTC considers that the appeal had become redundant as the German Federal Patents Court had previously held the relevant claim of the patent to be invalid," the firm said in a statement to V3.
The dispute looks set to drag on as HTC will want to avoid a potentially expensive licensing deal with IPCom.
Meanwhile, fellow Android device maker Samsung has had to redesign its products for the German market, but could be handed a reprieve in the Australian courts in its high-profile patent dispute with Apple across the globe.
Justice Lindsay Foster, an Australian appeals court judge, suggested that the Samsung tablet ban in the region could be overturned in time for the Christmas season.
"The result looks terribly fair to Apple and not terribly fair to Samsung," Bloomberg reported the judge as saying during the appeal hearing.
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