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HTC Wins Dismissal of First Two German Nokia Patent Suits

HTC Corp. won dismissal of two Nokia Oyj patent-infringement lawsuits in Germany, the first rulings from that country in the global intellectual-property dispute between the companies.

The judges didn’t find that HTC violated Nokia’s patents, Joachim Bock, spokesman for the Mannheim Regional Court, which heard the cases, said in an interview today. In one of the actions, Nokia argued HTC illicitly used its technology to run the Google Inc.’s Play store on its smartphones.

Nokia last year sued HTC, BlackBerry and ViewSonic Corp. in the U.S., U.K. and and Germany over a total of 45 patents. The Finnish mobile-phone maker, struggling to reverse a sales slide, settled with BlackBerry in December. A month earlier, HTC reached a global settlement with Apple Inc. of their patent disputes. Nokia can appeal today’s ruling.

“Nokia respectfully disagrees with the court’s decision and we are considering our options,” Mark Durrant, spokesman for the Espoo, Finland-based company, said in an e-mailed statement. Nokia asserted violation of more than 30 further patents against HTC in Germany, the U.S. and the U.K. and expects to prevail regarding those, he said.

“Nokia has exaggerated the scope of its patent in order to extract unwarranted licensing royalties from Android handset manufacturers,” HTC said in an e-mailed statement referring to Google’s mobile software. “The Android platform is now safe from oppressive enforcement of this patent.”

Google supported HTC as a party in the case over the Play store, which allows Android device users to download applications and media.

The Mannheim court is scheduled to rule March 19 on whether HTC infringed a Nokia patent for technology used to regulate a device’s battery power use.

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