IPCom has contacted retailers and wholesalers in Germany to ask them to stop selling 3G HTC handsets, as the patent licensor claims that the phones infringe a patent known as #100a.
HTC argues that IPCom has no grounds to make such claims as no legal decision has been made ruling that the Taiwanese manufacturer has infringed the #100a patent.
"It is regrettable that IPCom has demonstrated that it is prepared to go to any lengths, including contacting our customers, to advance what we consider to be disproportionate and unjustifiable claims. We will continue to fiercely defend our business interests and those of our customers and partners," HTC said in a statement.
"Patent #100a is currently in opposition proceedings before the European Patent Office, and the current indications are that it will be revoked at the 24 April 2012 hearing."
HTC goes on to note that it has a workaround, which does not infringe the patent, just in case it is upheld in court.
The firm has also gone on record as saying that it is unwilling to sign any licensing deal with IPCom, claiming that the demands are disproportionate and unjustifiable and that the patents are weak and of minor importance.
Patent analyst Florian Mueller explained that retailers will now have to decide whether to take any risks by continuing to back HTC.
"The agreements retailers conclude with vendors usually contain hold-harmless clauses under which HTC would have to bear the costs and risks of any such legal issues," he said on the Foss Patents blog.
"While there's strong demand for HTC's products in the German market, the legal departments of some retailers might be uncomfortable with this situation and prefer not to be drawn into litigation."
IPCom has confirmed that it initiated infringement proceedings in the Mannheim District Court against HTC on Tuesday, claiming that HTC is a "wilful infringer that needs a lesson".
Bernhard Frohwitter, managing director of IPCom, told V3 that HTC is playing legal tricks, and dodged a decision by the Appeal Court in Germany by withdrawing its appeal.
"HTC had brought forward all the above allegations to the court, in many lengthy lawyers briefs, and their retraction of the appeal prevented a court decision on all this."
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