updated 06:32 pm EDT, Fri May 17, 2013
HTC technically infringing, but patent likely seen as not valid
The Mannheim Regional Court has stayed one chapter of the ongoing Nokia versus HTC trial in Germnay. Judge Andreas Voss ordered the stay over a feature proving supervisory remote permission management to employees' Android-based phones and tablets. While HTC is infringing on the patent, the court believes the patent itself to be invalid.
Judge Voss didn't discuss the stay, but German courts have more discretion than many other nations' jurists to grant a stay of a patent infringement case. Nokia is in the process of asserting 40 patents against HTC in Germany, the US, and the UK. Most assertions haven't come to trial, as of yet.
HTC has responded to the ruling. A HTC spokesman said "Today, the District Court of Mannheim handed down a judgment staying claims by Nokia that HTC had infringed the German part of patent EP 0879538 entitled 'Mobile Terminal having Network Services Activation through the use of Point-to-Point Short Message Service', because of serious doubts as to the validity of the patent. HTC is naturally delighted with this decision, which serves to confirm its view that the strength of Nokia's patent-portfolio has been greatly exaggerated.
Nokia viewed the ruling and stay somewhat differently. In its statement, it said that "Nokia is pleased that the court has found that HTC infringed our patent and we look forward to demonstrating the validity of this patent. Nokia has also asserted the patent against HTC in the UK. More than 30 further Nokia patents have been asserted against HTC in other actions brought by Nokia in Germany, the US and the UK. HTC has already been found to infringe Nokia's patent EP 0 673 175 and an injunction against infringing devices is already in effect in Germany. HTC must respect our intellectual property and compete using its own innovations."