updated 11:29 pm EDT, Tue April 23, 2013
Nokia suffers defeat after having settled with RIM, dealing with ViewSonic
Earlier today, the Mannheim Regional Court in Germany ruled on Nokia's assertion that HTC was infringing on its patent on "a communication network terminal for accessing Internet." Judge and Doctor Holger Kircher, presiding over the board of judges hearing the case, ruled that Nokia's case was dismissed based on a finding of non-infringement. The decision is appealable, but is unlikely to be overturned.
The court filing by Nokia that kicked off the suit alleged that the Android ecosystem, particularly Google Play, infringed its patent because of the interface allowing developers to provide data to the end user through a Google-provided server. Judge Dr. Kircher initially expressed some disdain about Nokia's theory, and said that Nokia would not likely prevail on the merits of the patent.
HTC has filed three countersuits against Nokia, asserting a energy-saving patent in two German courts, as well as subsidiary S3 asserting a video processing patent against Nokia. Three Nokia-versus-HTC lawsuits have been dismissed, with four having been stayed by agreement between the pair of companies. HTC's countersuits are likely to be heard in September.
Nokia has had success litigating this patent. BlackBerry (then Research In Motion) settled last year. ViewSonic was close to a settlement on this patent in March.
Speaking on the ongoing smartphone patent battles worldwide amongst multiple parties, patent analyst Florian Mueller believes that "the moment of truth for a patent is not when the patent office grants it: patent offices grant too many patents they shouldn't issue. The moment of truth is litigation. Once you assert a patent against a deep-pocketed, sophisticated rival, you'll see its true strength (or weakness). No patent valuation method is a substitute for this real-world test."