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HTC Sued by Germany’s IPCom in Britain Over 3G-Device Patent

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June 21 (Bloomberg) -- HTC Corp., the world’s largest maker of mobile phones that use Google Inc.’s Android operating system, was sued by IPCom GmbH & Co. in Britain over claims its products violate a European patent.

The lawsuit, filed June 17 in the High Court in London, came a day after the same patent was found by a U.K. judge to be valid and infringed by Nokia Oyj, the world’s biggest maker of mobile phones by volume.

“We offered a fair and reasonable license” to HTC, Bernhard Frohwitter, IPCom’s managing director, said in an e-mail. The new case targets HTC’s 3G devices, he said.

IPCom, based in Pullach, Germany, seeks royalties from a family of mobile-technology patents it acquired in 2007 from Robert Bosch GmbH, the world’s largest automotive supplier. IPCom bought the patents after Bosch failed to license them to Nokia in 2003.

“HTC has the utmost respect for intellectual property,” Linda Mills, a spokeswoman for HTC, said in a statement. “We are reviewing the complaint and don’t expect to have any further comment until it is resolved.”

IPCom seeks a declaration of infringement against HTC and an inquiry into how much profit was generated by the Taoyuan Hisen, Taiwan-based company’s disputed products, according to court records in the case.

Since last week’s ruling, Nokia’s shares fell to a 13-year low. IPCom claims the patent is vital to the Finnish company’s handset sales -- a claim that Nokia rejected.

HTC and Nokia in December teamed up to overturn most of one of IPCom’s patents in Germany’s Federal Patent Court in Munich. The mobile-phone makers had sought to void the patent entirely.

HTC in April purchased a worldwide portfolio of patents on wireless telecommunications technologies from ADC Telecommunications Inc. for $75 million.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Larson in London at elarson4@bloomberg.net

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

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