Nokia, HTC score victory against IPCom as patent is deemed invalid

But IPCom isn't giving up and plans to appeal the verdict

The European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich has revoked a patent belonging to IPCom, but the impact of the decision is in dispute.

The decision means that a Tuesday verdict is no longer expected to stop the sales of Nokia and HTC products in Germany, according to separate statements from the two phone makers.

The revoking of the patent comes after Düsseldorf district court on Tuesday ruled that Vodafone and T-Mobile have to stop distribution of 3G capable Nokia and HTC mobile phones in Germany, as these devices are infringing the EP 1 841 268 (#100A) patent.

The patent is related to how access channels are assigned to users in 3G networks. It allows, for example, emergency services to be given priority access, according to IPCom.

However, the fact that the patent has been revoked the means ruling in Düsseldorf is not expected to stop the sales of Nokia products in Germany, according to Nokia.

HTC agrees: "The EPO ruling undermines IPCom's licence infringement claim against us," the company said via email.

Both companies think that IPCom should take a hint and cease its legal efforts. HTC trusts IPCom will now reconsider "its opportunistic dispute with HTC and withdraw its legal action(s) against us."

So far, of 62 IPCom patents that have come to judgment, none has been found valid as granted, according to Nokia.

But even if IPCom recognizes that EPO's decision was a setback, it isn't giving up. The company will immediately appeal the decision, a spokesman said via email. Also, the judgment does not impact the successful rulings regarding infringement proceeding against Nokia and HTC, it said.

IPCom was founded in 2007, and the company acquired a mobile patent portfolio from Bosch the same year.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
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