A month ago
corporate patent troll intellectual property specialist IPCom won a major case against HTC in Germany, which seems to be a downright patent hotbed lately. The court ruled that IPCom’s 3G technology patent was being illegally used in HTC’s phones (and by extension, pretty much every cell phone in Europe) and and now a sales ban against HTC devices looms. But IPCom jumped the gun a bit on the ruling, and started harassing retailers for selling HTC phones immediately. HTC countersued and (wait for it) secured an injunction, keeping the trolls from further bothering retailers.
It’s a small victory, to be sure. The original ruling is still in effect, and if HTC and IPCom don’t reach some kind of agreement, the manufacturer may be forced to exit Germany entirely. That’s rather unlikely, but for their part HTC says it’s prepared to take the hit in order to avoid egregious patent licensing fees. The company is facing some trouble on our side of the pond from everyone’s favorite troll Apple has won a case against HTC for the automatic phone number hyperlinks.HTC says it already has a work-around prepared well in advance of the April deadline.
Germany’s been in the news a high profile case between Samsung and Apple as well. Apple successfully secured an injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 for a design patent. When Samsung revised the tablet with the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, Apple tried to secure another injunction. The German court must be as sick of patent suits as we are, because it sent Apple home with no sales ban. Hurrah for a modicum of sanity.[via BGR]