Court stops HTC smartphone sales in Germany

A court in Germany has granted one of two patent infringement claims made by commercial patent exploiters IPCom against Taiwanese mobile device manufacturer HTC, Telecompaper reports.

The district court in Mannheim ruled that HTC products are infringing on the specified patent and subsequently granted an injunction pending IPcom raising a €1 million security bond. Once effective, the injunction will prevent HTC from selling or importing its mobile devices into Germany.

HTC claims that the alleged infringing technology is present in the baseband chipset component supplied by HTC's chipset vendor and does not involve HTC technology or intellectual property. HTC says the ruling will not affect its existing customers in Germany or devices already on sale there.

HTC will be appealing the decision and requesting a stay of the injunction pending the outcome of the appeal and invalidity proceedings currently pending before the German Federal Patents Court in Munich, the report says.

The company is apparently working with its chipset supplier to identify an alternative solution. IPCom's managing director Bernhard Frohwitter told German newspaper Handelsblatt that HTC does not want to negotiate with IPCom about possible solutions and is threatening to shut down the sales of UMTS-enabled HTC handsets in Germany, which include the T-Mobile's G1 Google phone as well as the HTC Touch and the soon to be launched HTC Magic for Vodafone.

Frohwitter was also quoted saying that IPCom has filed a claim against Google at a court in Hamburg in the past week, as Google is technically responsible for the G1 and HTC Magic as they are based on the Android platform, which was developed by Google. A Google spokeswoman said that the company did not know that a lawsuit had been filed against them.

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