HTC is one of the world’s most premium mobile brands, with revenue in the multiple billions per year and one of the most impressive smartphones out there at the moment, the HTC One. However, in the UK this high-end brand could be set to make an exit, as Nokia is pushing for a ban on the sale of its products.
This has only been possible thanks to a previous victory by Nokia, which saw it rewarded a patent initially filed in 1998, that pertained to a modular system used to transmit data. Since HTC One devices make use of this technology, Nokia is now demanding that the court block all sales of the handset, as well as banning all imports. It’s also attempting to claim compensation for HTC for the past seven months of sales.
HTC is appealing the decision and will no doubt fight tooth and nail to prevent its handset being banned here. It still contests that since it bought the Nokia patented hardware from Qualcomm which Nokia has a deal with in the US, that it should be allowed to use it without reproach. However, the British court believed this doesn’t override Nokia’s patent holder rights since it registered it in Europe.
Having been granted a victory here, Nokia is now looking to have the HTC One banned in other territories too, including: Germany, Italy, Japan and the US.
The timing of this couldn’t be worse for HTC however, as it recently sold its remaining shares in Dr Dre’s Beats headphone business for just over a quarter billion dollars. While that’s a big chunk of change, it may be set to sacrifice its entire business presence in the UK, as without Beats or the One, HTC’s business in the UK is almost non-existent.
KitGuru Says: While knocking off the One is hardly Microsoft/Nokia’s biggest competition in the phone market, one less player in the game can’t hurt. Any of you guys using the One feel sad about this potential end of the line?