updated 06:11 pm EST, Mon December 30, 2013
Embargo enforceable after Nokia shells out $550 million for bond
Earlier today, the Nokia versus HTC patent fight in Germany came to a dramatic close, as Nokia has been awarded a complete product embargo against all HTC Android devices sold in the country. The embargo is provisional upon appeal, but immediately enforceable when Nokia posts a 400 million Euro ($550 million) bond.
The embargo is a result of the process which began in October 2012, and concluded with a final hearing a few months ago. The suit involves a patent for a "method for transferring resource information" between two HTC devices allowing easy sharing of contact information, or a short text field such as an URL.
The bond allows the embargo to be enforced, and acts as a form of insurance, should HTC have the embargo reversed upon appeal. To be awarded the bond, HTC would have to prove damage to itself as a result of the embargo, which includes the HTC One flagship phone.
Patent analyst Florian Mueller believes that "Google realized during the course of this litigation that this Nokia patent is of concern to the entire Android ecosystem." Not only is Google's Motorola involved in patent discussions with Nokia, but Google attempted to challenge the patent at stake before the Federal Patent Court of Germany. The effort was too late to have any effect on this embargo, however.
Mueller believes that "Google's nullity complaint appears to involve additional invalidity contentions and may ultimately succeed -- but it wasn't legally pending at the time of the infringement trial, and the court found that HTC's declaration of its intent to add the same additional invalidity theories and prior art references to its own (pending) complaint was also too little, too late."
Nokia's lawsuit against HTC is active in seven countries, including the US and UK. Microsoft will not only acquire Nokia's patent portfolio with its acquisition of the cell manufacturer, but its legal battles as well.