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HTC Loses German Patent Suit Over Nokia Battery-Life Patent

HTC Corp. (2498) lost a German lawsuit after a court said it violated Nokia Oyj (NOK) patents for technology that helps save battery life on mobile phones.

The Mannheim court today ruled that it infringed the German part of Nokia’s European patent, HTC said in an e-mailed statement. Taoyuan, Taiwan-based HTC said the patent is invalid and it will appeal the decision.

Nokia last year sued HTC, BlackBerry and ViewSonic Corp. in the U.S., U.K. and Germany over 45 patents. The Espoo, Finland- based mobile-phone maker, struggling to reverse a sales slide, settled with BlackBerry in December. A month earlier, HTC reached a global patent settlement with Apple Inc.

“This decision cannot be described as a ‘win’ for Nokia because it only applies to handsets that are no longer imported into Germany, and newer HTC handsets do not use the accused technology,” HTC said. “As Nokia clearly went to great lengths to assert its strongest patents first, we are confident that its non-essential patent portfolio poses little threat to HTC.”

Nokia is “pleased with this decision, which confirms the quality of Nokia’s patent portfolio,” Mark Durrant, a spokesman for the company, said in an e-mailed statement. “HTC must now respect our intellectual property and compete using its own innovations.”

HTC said the power-saving technology in the disputed patent is “trivial” and “contributes only a negligible reduction in power consumption.” The company “has removed any allegedly corresponding functionality from all of its current German handsets as a precaution against any attempt by Nokia to extend the scope of the judgment unfairly.”

HTC said it will continue to pursue separate lawsuits to invalidate the Nokia patents pending in German and U.K. patent courts.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Bodoni in Luxembourg at sbodoni@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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