HTC faces the prospect of being unable to import some of its devices to the US after it lost a preliminary ruling against Nokia on patents used in its tablet and smartphones.
In a case at the International Trade Commission (ITC) Judge Thomas Pender said HTC was found to have infringed two patents owned by Nokia, relating to technologies for signals that can be sent and received by phones and tablets.
Conversely, Nokia was found not to have infringed a patent owned by HTC, which covered tethering technologies.
Nokia could now push for a ban of some HTC products in the US, including the HTC Flyer tablet, and the Amaze 4G and Sensation 4G smartphones, according to Reuters. A full hearing will take place in January 2014.
Nokia welcomed the decision: “Nokia is pleased that the initial determination of the ITC confirmed that HTC has infringed two of our patents.”
HTC said it was “disappointed” to have lost the case and believed Nokia had been “lucky” in the decision against its patents.
"We have not yet seen the judges’ reasoning for dismissing the case and so cannot comment further at this stage, but their dismissal of the case appears surprising and seems to be a lucky escape for Nokia,” it said.
Microsoft is likely to be watching the case with interest, having signed a deal with Nokia to license the patent for its phones as part of the $5.44bn deal for Nokia's phone unit, announced earlier this month.
The case is just one of the many legal battles taking place around the world, with many major tech heavyweights suing their rivals in an attempt to damage one another and score big financial victories.
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