Patent firm IPCom says to stop HTC German sales

Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:52pm EST
 

By Tarmo Virki, European Technology Correspondent

(Reuters) - German patent firm IPCom plans to halt as quickly as possible the sale of all HTC smartphones in Germany, another blow to the Taiwanese firm just two days after it shocked markets by cutting its fourth-quarter outlook.

IPCom said on Friday it would enforce an injunction based on a Mannheim court decision from February 2009 after HTC, the fourth largest smartphone vendor globally, withdrew its appeal, which was due to be decided on next week.

"IPCom now intends to execute this injunction in the shortest possible time," the company said in a statement.

"We will use the right awarded by the courts, likely resulting in HTC devices disappearing from shops during the crucial Christmas season."

HTC confirmed it pulled the appeal on Friday and said it thought it was redundant as a German patent court has questioned the validity of the patent in question.

Analysts and lawyers said the withdrawal gives HTC time to battle against two other patents which could have been decided upon next week, while it can still try to delay the original injunction.

"While HTC can try to oppose the enforcement of the injunction, my research shows that the odds are very long against HTC on this one," said German patent expert and blogger Florian Mueller.

UNDER FIRE   Continued...