Patent firm sues German retailers for selling HTC phones

IPCom says HTC has not licensed a patent for UMTS technology

IPCom, a German company that licenses technology patents for mobile phones, is suing German retailers for continuing to sell 3G phones from High Tech Computer (HTC) in violation of a court injunction issued in 2009.

IPCom says all HTC phones use one of its patents, #100a, which describes an algorithm for managing bandwidth on UMTS networks in emergency situations. IPCom licenses the patent to other major phone manufacturers, but HTC has not licensed it, IPCom said.

In 2009, the District Court of Mannheim issued an injunction banning the sale of HTC phones using the technology. On Nov. 25, HTC dropped its appeal of the injunction in the Higher Regional Court in Karlsruhe, according to an IPCom spokesman. IPCom is now seeking that the injunction be enforced.

IPCom sent cease-and-desist requests to 100 retailers on Dec. 6, asking them to abide by the injunction by Dec. 20. No retailer complied. IPCom has also filed suit against 30 retailers in regional courts in Mannheim and Munich, the spokesman said.

IPCom has also asked the Mannheim court to begin penalty proceedings against HTC, which could fine the mobile manufacturer.

HTC said its phones do not make use of the teaching of the patent. Further, HTC said the European Patent Office is examining the validity of patent #100a and is scheduled to hold a hearing on April 24. HTC said it is "confident that the patent will be revoked."

"In an initial assessment, the European Patent Office has raised serious concerns as to its validity," HTC said.

IPCom acquired its portfolio, which encompasses about 160 mobile communications patent families, in early 2007 from German engineering company Robert Bosch, which developed the technologies starting in the mid-1980s.

The company is owned by German patent lawyer Bernhard Frohwitter and engineer and entrepreneur Christoph Schoeller, with a stake held by the U.S. private equity firm Fortress Investment.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags IPComintellectual propertypatentlegalmobileHigh Tech Computer

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?