back to article HTC faces Xmas sales ban misery in Germany

HTC has withdrawn its appeal against a decision in favour of patent-hoarder IPCom, which is now pitching to get HTC handsets off the shelves in Germany by Christmas. HTC claims it has withdrawn the appeal because of last December's ruling that one of the contested patents was invalid. Both sides are appealing that ruling (HTC …


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  1. MJI Silver badge

    Be cheaper to wipe out IPCom

    I am surprised this has not yet happened

    1. Flashy Red

      So, basically, IPCom adds nothing of worth to the ecosystem yet it makes a pretty penny from it. How have we ended up with a system in which corporate parasites thrive?

  2. Anonymous Coward

    In other news:

    "Today <patent troll x> sought an injunction against <company y> for violating its patent which covers the creation, design, intent on bringing to market a product that can be covered in part or in whole by a patent (Innovation). "

    But seriously, are we not yet at a point where the "patents encourage innovation" argument is invalidated because the steps to innovate are ring-fenced by a circle of patents?

    1. Al_21

      In fast-paced industries such as mobile technology, yes.

      Perhaps an alternative is to have patents which last 1 or 2 year.

      The patents are beginning to make the market less competitive - bad for us consumers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Al_21 The patents seem to be there and waiting in the software industry as well.

        Probably just not as enforceable (or don't offer a good enough return?) on an international scale as other types of patent due to varying types of laws regarding them.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
          Big Brother


          "The patents are beginning to make the market less competitive"

          I think you want to say :

          "The patents are making the market less competitive and that's what they are all about."

          Guilds, trade unions, "free trade zones", collective bargaining, minimum wage laws, "antitrust" and "intellectual property" - it's all about keeping the people out who can't write the law for the benefit of those who can.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        How can a pantent only last 1-2 years

        They take 3+ years just to get granted!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    But seriously, are we not yet at a point where the "patents encourage innovation" argument is invalidated because the steps to innovate are ring-fenced by a circle of patents?


    Read up on James Watt and his inventions for steam engines then see how the industrial revolution didn't really start until after his patents expired

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or you could argue that without the period of exclusivity that the patent provided, James Watt would not have made the information publicly available.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        "James Watt would not have made the information publicly available."

        So - the whole world around him was too stupid to be unable to invent the same thing?


  4. KevinLewis

    I just hope there's a ban on patents..

    Or maybe patent against these types of patents, a self destructing patents to end all patent trolls..

  5. Alex King
    Thumb Down


    IPCom should be listed under this entry in the dictionary

    1. John G Imrie Silver badge

      Re: Parasite

      Parasites have a useful biological function.

      I cant think what useful function IPCom has.

  6. Steve Brooks

    Maybe since a patent was originally designed to protect income for a given period just declare any patent claim invalid unless the claiment can demonstrate they are making money from the patented item. Doesn't seem hard to me.

  7. Eponymous Cowherd

    Anti Troll legislation needed.

    Something along the lines of:-

    You can only buy a patent with the intention to implement it and must provide evidence of that intention to sue for infringement.

    This only applies to bought patents, not those of the original applicant / author who, obviously, should be able to profit from their own invention.

  8. Colin Millar

    Tried and tested business model

    As Silvio said - extortion is one of the few business models that has proved itself to be resistant to the vagaries of the economic cycle.

  9. Gio Ciampa

    A thought...

    If "it's impossible to make a phone comply with the 3G (GSM) standard without infringing its patents"...

    ...then surely the patent should be covered by the FRAND agreement and thus the case shouldn't be about infringment, but the licensing arrangement?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HTC is no saint

    And they've used patents, even shaky ones, against many others in the past.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Work around

    HTC claims to have a work around for the infringing patents

    How's that for patents encouraging innovation :)

  12. Keep Refrigerated

    Deutschland Unter Alles

    Is it just me or does it seem Germany is becoming a hotbed for a war on innovation just lately? It seems German companies and German courts are doing their best to prevent consumers from having a choice and now prevent any technological progress.

    A great shame, for I've always found Germany quite progressive with high engineering standards - I wonder if this will have an impact on that status in the future, if these patent trolls are allowed to run rampant all over Europe?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Progressive, high engineering standards...

      How do you think the automotive industry works? They been one of the most prolific patent producers since 1769, the IT industry is a mere amateur, here's a few facts:

      "With an average of 10 patents registered per day, Germany is the world leader in auto industry patents. Around half of these patents are related to environmentally friendly technologies.

      Companies based in Germany registered the most patents at the European Patent Office for the period 2000-2006.

      With over 13,000 patents granted at the European Patent Office in 2008, Germany’s share is twice as large as that of France and the UK combined.

      Germany is also the leading European nation in triadic patents (patents registered at the three major global patent offices: the European Patent Office, the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and the Japan Patent Office)."

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