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back to article Judge upholds UK ban on HTC phones, but HTC One gets a pass – for now

A UK High Court judge has ruled that HTC must stop selling several of its mobile phones in Blighty, but has granted the Taiwanese firm a reprieve for its flagship model, the HTC One, pending HTC's appeal of a recent patent decision against it. Mr Justice Richard Arnold ruled in October that a number of HTC phones – including the …

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Silver badge

HTC imploding

This might turn out to be a good thing for HTC. They've got too many handsets that are too close together tech-wise and they need to rationalise their product offering. Then they need to get back to old fashioned customer support. Fix bugs, push updates to older models, write more apps for Google Play, etc. It's not rocket science. They should make me CEO.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: HTC imploding

No wonder they are in the sH*t.

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Re: HTC imploding

Agree, HTC are too short sighted - concentrate on the quick sale (of quality phones still), but forget about customer retention and brand loyalty (ongoing support and updates) - and that's what is harming them in the longer term.

This article http://androidandme.com/2013/07/devices/htc-kills-the-one-s-leaves-android-4-1-broken-promises-at-the-scene/ sums up my experience.

HTC One S user using Android 4.1.1 despite the phone having more than capable hardware.

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Silver badge

They have sold their handset business but they kept a hold of the patents. They're free to sue now without fear of their own products being targeted. Quite a clever move on MS' part.

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Bronze badge

What's Microsoft got to do with this?

Two of the phones banned are HTC's only WP8 handsets and its not like the rest of HTC's handsets are going to upset the Android/WP8 balance in Microsoft's favour.

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This will be

the end of the western markets if they continue with the broken patent system

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Re: This will only

help counterfeiters and manufacturers in countries which have less of an anal patent system get on top of the western manufacturers (and Taiwanese and South Korean and Japanese - you get the idea :))

Huawei and ZTE have it easy

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Bronze badge

I don't understand why they couldn't allow HTC to continue selling these phones pending the outcome of the appeal as long as the appropriate amount needed for damages to Nokia is held in trust for if the appeal is unsuccessful.

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Childcatcher

Another bullshit patent

Apparently this "invention" amounts to nothing more than "a modulator using a Gilbert cell" and "at least one low-pass filter".

First, I find it highly unlikely that this was really "invented" by Nokia. Second, I doubt very much that it was "invented" as late as October 1999 (see filing date). Third, something so trivial should not be patentable. Fourth, shouldn't this qualify as one of those "standard essential" things that apparently precludes litigation? And fifth, is something this trivial really supposed to justify banning an already struggling company from the market, thus probably condemning it to bankruptcy?

The more I see patents in action, the more I'm convinced the entire farce is operated by gangsters.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another bullshit patent

People probably far more qualified to judge than you obviously disagree....

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Bronze badge

Re: Another bullshit patent

You make one giant assumption there - that our judicial system contains anyone with any relevant qualifications. That's not how the system works. It works by both sides basically bombarding the judge with information and the judge then deciding which one gave the best argument.

So, what you're saying really is "people at Nokia obviously disagree and in this instance, the judge on the balance of evidence provided agrees".

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Silver badge

Re: Another bullshit patent

Indeed. Eloquently put.

The outcome of cases these days depend on the acting skills of the prosecuter and the defence. Proper reasoned arguments play very little part in it.

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Facepalm

Re: "qualified to judge"

Well you'll have to excuse me if I remain unimpressed by the qualifications of those stupid enough to conclude that such trivialities as "bouncing" and "rounded rectangles" should seriously be considered as modern day "inventions".

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Re: "qualified to judge"

You've missed the point of the case, which was not whether the patent should stand, but whether or not HTC infringed on a patent that Nokia owns.

The merits of the patent are irrelevant to the case and as HTC themselves have not attempted to have the patent invalidated, then I would suggest that your supposition that the patent is rubbish and that the legal parties are stupid is probably incorrect.

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Bronze badge

Seem to recall

that the HTC One was using a microphone designed and patented by Nokia which is world leading for removing background noise and which HTC got hold of because the company making them for Nokia sold them without permission. It still had the Nokia part number on it when installed into the HTC One...

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Bronze badge

Judges are getting worse

I really hope HTC win this patent case and can then file suit against Nokia to reclaim their lost earnings.

What is this judge thinking? There is an ongoing appeal regarding the efficacy of the patent, so even the patent is in question.

If you look at it from a different angle - who is most at risk from harm should the wrong judgement be given for an injunction, the answer is HTC. If Nokia didn't get an injunction and their patent was upheld later, they could simply sue HTC for the money they owe. However, as HTC now has this ban during the busiest mobile device sales period of the year, their business is going to be severely damaged by the injunction. If the patent is thrown out in the future, HTC will then have even more leg work to do to try and reclaim their lost income - the value of which will be subject to lots of guesswork by both sides meaning HTC may not actually get their money back and Nokia still come out ahead.

The right judgement here would be to say no to an injunction, and wait for the outcome of the appeal.

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So ... That's Why T-Mobile

Called my Mrs. twice last week to offer her a 'deal' on an HTC One Mini.

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"You can't ban our phones, because if we don't break the law we won't make enough money."

Arguments about the general stupidity of patent law aside, I really don't understand how this can be considered a valid defence. The only reason the One isn't being banned is because doing so would damage HTC's business. Surely that's the whole point? If you can't run a successful business with stealing from other people, you don't get to run a business at all.

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Bronze badge

Re: "You can't ban our phones, because if we don't break the law we won't make enough money."

Whilst I don't agree with one company profiting off another's IP, I also like a vibrant, competitive market, and driving HTC out of the UK will limit consumer choice. Maybe it would be better to allow HTC to continue selling, and have them pay a fee to Nokia for each (infringing) handset sold?

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Anonymous Coward

"...because HTC is expected to launch a successor to its flagship phone in the first quarter of 2014, possibly as early as February."

What are they calling the follow up to the One?

The Number Two?

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Anonymous Coward

HTC have appealed so the 'ban' does not really affect anything yet. The question is, when is the appeal hearing date? If not for another 3 months then, again, any ban is largely immaterial as both the One and One Mini will have been superceded by then.

*bows and exits stage*

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