Further supporting the Android Community amateur legal opinion that German courts are full of dunkoffs, IPCom’s patent injunction against HTC has been held up in that country. The initial ruling was made two years ago, with HTC almost immediately appealing. Now the original ruling has been upheld, and HTC will be forced to either capitulate to IPCom’s demands (read: pony up the cash) or halt sales in Germany.
The patent in question has to do with low-level 3G technologies that many consider absolutely essential. The ruling sets up a dangerous precedent – essentially any phone maker or carrier operating in Germany may have to bow before IPCom, a firm made up exclusively of patent holdings – think of it as a corporate patent troll. The company is already suing European arms of Vodafone and T-Mobile for the same technology, and in Germany at least, this precedent means they’re likely to win. You can dive into the legalese over at FOSS Patents.
After the ruling has been upheld, there’s very little that HTC can do except pay up or ship out. Followers of all things Android will no doubt recall that Apple won a major legal battle against Samsung in Germany, forcing them to pull and eventually redesign the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The message is clear: if you’ve got an intellectual property axe to grind, make tracks for Deutschland and start look for a target.