Nokia has won a patent injunction against Taiwanese mobile manufacturer HTC in Germany in relation to a power saving technology. The injunction, handed down by Judge Dr. Holger Kircher in the Mannheim Regional Court, was a result of a finding that HTC infringed Nokia’s patent number EP0673175. The concerned patent is for “reduction of power consumption in the mobile station”.
FOSS Patents reports that HTC’s legal team was unable to deny Nokia’s claims that the company had infringed on the patent with devices that use a Qualcomm baseband chip. The ruling indicates that Nokia has the right to force HTC to license the patent. However, HTC and Qualcomm do have the option of deactivating the power saving technique, which would severely affect the battery life on the handsets that use this technology.
One of the phones that infringed Nokia's patents is the HTC Wildfire S.
The technology covered in the patent deals with the phone’s ability to save battery power by identifying packets of data that can be reconstructed using a part of an encoded message. Imagine a system which only provides power to the receiving component when further portions must be received in order to decode the message and packets of data sent. In this way, the technology limits the battery usage in cases when the signal isn’t strong enough to pull the entire data or when it senses that it is receiving redundant data. The technology helps extend battery life, especially when the phone is in standby mode.
Unfortunately for HTC, the German court’s injunction is permanent and not preliminary, and Nokia was also granted a recall of infringing devices from retail locations. It is also entitled to damages to be determined in further litigation.
HTC for its part is unhappy with the verdict, however; the company insists that the infringing devices are of little significance in Germany. “HTC is naturally disappointed with the decision of the court, as it believes that Nokia failed to prove its case adequately,” a statement from the company said. “However, as the judgment only covers three handsets that HTC no longer imports into Germany (the Wildfire S, Desire S and Rhyme), this judgment is of little significance. HTC’s German business will not be affected by it,” the statement added.
It further states the power-saving technology under debate is “trivial and contributes only a negligible reduction in power-consumption.” However, HTC will be appealing the decision in the German Federal Patents Court and the English Patents Court, and also believes that Nokia’s patent is invalid.
Nokia is also alleging that HTC is infringing on the same patent within the US and the UK. Ominously, the company said it will take the fight to courts in other countries as well. “Nokia has also patented this power saving invention in the US, UK, France, Italy, Sweden, Austria, Japan and Hong Kong. In addition to this case in Germany, we have asserted the patent against HTC in the UK and in the US International Trade Commission, with a hearing in the US scheduled to start in two months' time.”
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