Nokia has won an injunction to halt the sale of all HTC Android devices in Germany. The issue surrounds a Nokia-held patent which relates to peer-to-peer sharing via NFC or Bluetooth. The two companies have been tussling for some time, with HTC obtaining stays to allow the sales of their devices to continue elsewhere, but there will be no help this time around.
While we don’t know the specifics of the patent, Google has stepped in to try and have the patent invalidated. Whether or not that can be accomplished remains to be seen, but any success Google might have wouldn’t be helpful at this time. There is no quick reprieve that could come before the sales ban takes effect.
The patent is also believed to affect other Android OEMs, and perhaps even the Android platform itself. Nokia has apparently decided to go after OEMs rather than take the fight straight to Google in this matter, and it seems to be a race against time. As Nokia gains traction, and Google tries to have the patent invalidated (probably on the grounds that it’s commonly used tech), device manufacturers like HTC are the losers.
HTC is notably on a downward trend, also. As their business slumps and executives leave, HTC simply can’t afford (maybe literally) to lose sales. HTC is — of course — expected to appeal the decision, but they may have to end up removing or disabling features in their handsets to continue selling them in Germany, and perhaps elsewhere.