German patent firm IPCom has hit back at HTC's claim that an injunction granted in a Mannheim court will have no effect on its sales. IPCom won a banning order in Germany against HTC's mobiles after claiming the handsets use patented 3G technology. The Taiwanese firm had logded an appeal against the particular IPCom patent, but …
When will these companies start becoming honest again - compete by selling a better product rather than employing more of that parasitic profession - solicitors ?
Shoot at close range.
HTC is somewhat fucked
It doesn't matter what HTC says, IPCom has now got the ability to ban HTC from Germany until HTC can prove the patent invalid. Assuming HTC can do that.
Best Guess is that will take at least 2.5 years again assuming HTC are right and so far thats not looking likely add in that IPCom will be allowed to appeal as they are now assumed to be in the right and this case could go on for 5-7 years. HTC have been very stupid or ill advised, it seems they assumed German law was like UK/USA law and now they are going pay for it. I would guess an injunction against HTC within 2 months and thats because of Xmas and when that hit's we will see a settlement in IPComs favor.
This is just such a stupid case, if HTC had agreed to pay at the start they where looking at what a dollar at the most, now they are looking at a 300 mill per year German business going down the tubes and they are going to have to pay a lot more to save that.
If the patent is proven invalid, then doesn't IPCom have to pay compensation for lost revenue for blocking the sales of HTC kit in Germany? If so, that would mean IPCom are taking the risk, although I would anticipate IPCom going bankrupt before that happened - or that they close down, sell off all their patents to company X, which may just have a similar line up of owners, and then it's business as usual without the liability. If IPCom are not liable for damages, then I would describe this as legal extortion (Pay up, fight us in court at *your* expense or get banned from selling in this market).
Also, if this is an essential technology for 3G standards, isn't it covered by FRAND? And if so, wouldn't it be part of the 3G license HTC paid for? Seems silly if it isn't.
It would also raise the question amongst conspiracy theorists about IPCom getting paid by HTC's rivals to do this. After all, Apple blocks Samsung sales then IPCom block HTC... who benefits the most from this?
Regardless, as ever, the customer suffers, all in the name of greed.
But Motorola might block Apple... ;)
Lot of things happening with this case. Yes it's covered by FRAND and is part of the 3G standard so the patents probably good, if it could be got around you can bet the rest of the 3G patent holders wouldn't have agreed to share the cash pool with IPCom. In real life no one uses it though, seems it was "a nice idea at the time so we will include it in the standard" but the telecos decided they didn't need it so as I said, no one uses it.
The problem for HTC is that it is part of the standard and they get the choice of implementing the whole standard or none of it, that's what the court has determined. Apple, Samsung, Nokia etc all include it even though as i said no one uses it and they all pay the license. It seems HTC decided to save probably less than $1 per phone because no one again is using the tech. This was a choice made by HTC, not a mistake and now it's coming back to bite them in the arse.
HTC took a gamble on German patent law and lost and then appealed (case was supposed to start last Monday) and then pulled out at the last moment. As of now HTC have no legal method of stopping a ban, at best the can get the ban lifted if they can prove the patent invalid and thats likely to take 5+ years with appeals assuming HTC manages to do that in the first place and that doesn't look likely.
Damages for lost earning would take too long to go into, short version is "NO IPCom has very little to worry about even if HTC invalidates the patent". IPCom can now use the bond HTC put up to pay for legal expenses and it appears they are well capitalized anyway. Anyone looking for a conspiracy in this case is deluded and consumers loose because HTC got greedy and cut corners in pursuit of a few extra bucks.
One last thing, HTC could have appealed but backed out at the last moment, they preferred an auto-lose to the chance of winning in court. Even a 1% chance of winning is worth the few extra days of lawyers fees in court, given the size of their German business. It's very telling that they didn't want to risk a court case when at first glance they had nothing more to lose.
And monkeys might fly out of your arse, neither of which has got anything to do with IPCom vs HTC you fuckwit... ;)
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