Patent lawsuit could halt HTC shipments to Germany

A district court in Mannheim, Germany, has ruled HTC infringed upon UMTS cellphone patents held by IP-Com. The court ruled that, if HTC fails to pay licence fees to German-based IP-Com, it might force HTC to stop sales of its handsets in Germany.

While this behaviour is not uncommon in the wireless technology industry, the impact on HTC could be significant given its work on Windows Mobile and Android handsets that would be affected by this supposed infringement. IP-Com also filed a separate injunction against Google last week, as the software company is working in conjunction with HTC on the T-Mobile G1 handset and its upcoming successor, the HTC Magic.

The alleged infringements revolve around patents acquired by IP-Com in 2006 from Bosch in Germany concerning baseband technology that is present in the UMTS chipset used by HTC. It does not involve HTC technology or intellectual property.

Commenting on the issue, IP-Com said it hoped it could agree on licensing terms with the other involved parties. However, the company warned that, if an agreement cannot be concluded, it would force HTC to stop selling the handsets in Germany. Last year, IP-Com filed the same case against Nokia and sued the company for US$17.7 billion.

For more on this story:
The Unwired and Electonista

Related stories:
Android phone to roll out across Europe
Android appears at MWC: Vodafone debuts HTC Magic
Vodafone and HTC unveil Android-powered HTC Magic
HTC adds more WinMo, Android phones to 2009 lineup