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IPCom Sues Metro Retailers in Germany in HTC Patent Dispute

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Dec. 22 (Bloomberg) -- IPCom GmbH & Co. sued stores of Metro AG’s Media-Saturn unit in Germany for selling HTC Corp. 3G mobile phones that it says violate IPCom patents.

IPCom sued about 25 stores, said Thomas Empt, a spokesman for the Pullach, Germany-based patent-licensing company.

“Since the retailers are fully aware of the court decisions of patent infringement against HTC, and continue to sell the handsets despite our request to stop doing so, the retailers risk being held liable themselves for willfully infringing our patent,” Bernhard Frohwitter, managing director of IPCom, said in a statement.

HTC hasn’t seen a complaint or been contacted by retailers about any IPCom lawsuit and “is committed to protecting its partners’ and customers interests,” according to a statement from an outside spokeswoman in London. Taoyuan, Taiwan-based HTC is still involved in litigation over the validity of the patent.

Dusseldorf, Germany-based Metro’s consumer-electronics chains Media Markt and Saturn didn’t return a phone call and an e-mail seeking comment on the suits.

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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