If you haven't heard, Germany has pretty much become the hotspot for smartphone and tablet patent litigation. Most recently, HTC has been hitting headlines in its ongoing battle against IPCom, an intellectual property firm. IPCom claims that HTC's smartphones violate a number of its patents in the realm of 3G GSM technology. HTC says that the last time it made a phone which might have violated those patents was in 2009, and that it has since developed a workaround which does not infringe on IPCom's patents.

A court in Karlsruhe issued an injunction against HTC because of these patents last week. It seems that HTC is of the belief that its products no longer violate the patents in questions, and may continue distributing its products in Germany, potentially violating IPCom's injunction. A violation of such an injunction could result in large fines for every device shipped into the country which is deemed to infringe on IPCom's patents.

But it seems unlikely that HTC, a multi-hundred-million dollar corporation, would go violating injunctions without doing so on sound legal advice.

There have been no reports actually indicating HTC has violated the injunction, or which devices are included that injunction specifically.


David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • http://anchordudes.com Tom C

    Why is it that the legal system in European countries is so easily snowed by weak arguments in technology driven legal issues? Apple iPad / Samsung Galaxy Tab (Germany), News-Service / BREIN (Netherlands) and now this. Even going back into history you can see how poorly their courts understand tech issues with a number of anti-microsoft rulings back in the mid 2000's.
    They'd better get a bit more savvy about false claims or the real innovators will start avoiding the continent altogether.

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com Cody

      Two thoughts...
      1) It sounds like you're implying the US is somehow better...Usually it's no better here, it just so happens that all of this stuff is going on over there right now.

      2) The whole thing is actually more complicated in those countries because a HUGE amount of the technology those patents are based on wasn't created in those countries, or even the EU where there are at least a few laws substantiated across borders. When something is created over here and somebody files for patents over there, the filings and rules that dictate how the filings are respected are profoundly different. Put more simply, patent trolls love to screw with Europe cause it's just that much easier (and cheaper) there. It's less about understanding of technology and more about the complications of jurisdiction and determining rights.