updated 10:10 am EST, Thu December 22, 2011
IPCom moves to German retailers in HTC phone ban
Patent collecting company IPCom is targeting nearly 100 phone retailers in Germany for patent infringement as they continued to sell HTC phones after a court-imposed deadline. The stop-sell date of December 20 was imposed earlier in December, and cease and desist letters were sent on December 6, IPCom said, according to a Thursday report. The original patent dispute between IPCom and HTC with its 3G handsets dates back to February of 2009.
The Mannheim, Germany court favored IPCom in the fight, granting it an injunction against the sale of HTC phones that use UMTS-based 3G technology, patents for which IPCom claims to own. It set a maximum penalty of 250,000 euros ($326,200) for each time this wasn't respected. The injunction was deemed enforceable by another court late in November as HTC dropped its appeal.
If HTC is indeed fined and needs to pay, it could cost it dearly, as HTC sells about two million smartphones per year in Germany.