German shipments ban still looms for Nokia

Michael Carroll
telecomasia.net
German-headquartered patent licensing firm IPCom dismisses claims by Nokia a European Patent Office (EPO) ruling has spared the vendor a shipments ban in the country.
 
The company plans to appeal the EPO decision invalidating patent EP 1 841 268 (#100A), and claims the patent will remain active until that appeal is decided. In a statement, IPCom claims that means previous German court injunctions on Nokia and HTC smartphone shipments, based on the pair infringing the patent, stand.
 
“Today’s judgment does not impact the successful rulings regarding infringement proceeding against Nokia and HTC in Germany and UK. Furthermore, as patent #100A currently remains in effect, today’s ruling has no impact on the already initiated cease and desist orders against HTC,” the statement read.
 
The firm was responding to claims by Nokia that the EPO decision makes the German court ruling against it unenforceable. Paul Melin, vice president of intellectual property at Nokia, states IPCom has now failed to win a favorable judgment in disputes covering 62 patents, and that the firm “needs to recognize its position and end its unrealistic demands,” as a result.
 
IPCom hit back, stating its “patent portfolio is continually growing,” and has increased 40% to 895 patents since 2007. However, the firm does concede the EPO decision “is not in favor of IPCom.”
 
Germany’s Patent and Trade Mark Office validated IPCom’s #100A patent in December 2010, resulting in a previous domestic court also ruling in the licensing firm’s favor over its infringement claim against Nokia. The patent was also validated by the UK’s High Court in mid-2011, which ruled that even a Nokia work around infringed IPCom’s IP.
 
The latest move in IPCom’s efforts to block HTC handset sales in Germany came late December, when it revealed plans to sue retailers for failing to follow cease and desist orders on sales of the vendor’s products.
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