HTC may have to modify the technology in several of its phones to prevent a possible U.S. sales ban

by: Andrew GrushOctober 2, 2013

HTC Desire U logo aa 1 1600

Each time you think HTC is getting back up on its feet, something else seems to knock the company down again. Not only are HTC’s sales continuing to decline, but now the company has even ran into some new drama with Nokia that might require HTC to modify the way some of the technology in its handsets work.

This isn’t the first time that HTC has went up against Nokia due to patent issues, so what’s all the hubbub about this time around?

In a nutshell, an initial ruling by the International Trade Commission last week concluded that HTC had infringed on two Nokia patents relating to radio frequencies and the ability to remove errors in radio signals. While the ITC’s full decision isn’t expected until January 23rd, the ruling could mean that HTC will need to find a way around the infringing patents if they want to avoid a potential sales ban on several of their handsets in the United States, including the HTC One.

According to a new report by the Wall Street Journal, the chip in question is actually made by Qualcomm. As a result of this, WSJ reports that Qualcomm and HTC are working together to revise the way the chip works, in order to get around the infringing patents.

From the sounds of it, this is just a back up plan in HTC’s eyes, as the company remains hopeful that they can get the ITC to reverse its initial judgement.

In response to the original ruling against it HTC had this to say:

We are pleased to have a partial victory from the Administrative Law Judge’s Initial Determination today, and we look forward to a Final Determination by the Commission in favor of HTC on this matter. In the meantime, HTC will keep its alternative plans ready to ensure no business disruption.

In other words, HTC will keep soldering on, regardless of what the ITC decides.

That leaves us with just one question: Have the tech “patent wars” gone too far, or are lawsuits like this completely understandable?

  • RaptorOO7

    Well isn’t this where Obama’s team should step in and override this to keep competition fair and to not harm the consumer. Oh that’s right this isn’t CrApple so it will stand.

    • Brandon Miranda

      CrApple. Nice one. #original

      • JagaJaga


        • MasterMuffin

          #owned :P

        • Brandon Miranda

          You got me lol

  • I still love my HTC – it’s ‘quietly brilliant’

  • Roberto Tomás

    It leaves another question too — if this is really a problem with Qualcomm, are any phones besides Nokia and Apple free of the same problem?

  • Amine Elouakil

    Hmm weird why targetting HTC is it is a Qualcomm related issue and why not other brands?

    • Anders CT

      Nokia would never target Qualcomm directly in court. Qualcomm has to many patents themselves, and makes chips for all Nokias own phones.

      So instead they target HTC before the trade commison where the burden of evidence is much lower.

      • Amine Elouakil

        Business as usual ^.^

  • Anders CT

    Nokia old friend, you have gone from industry leading innovator to legal predator. You went to the ball with Dracula and he sucked you dry. Now you must wander the afterlife as his soulless companion, sucking the blood of others at his evil command. No more will we hear your happy Nokia tune or play snake together. Only the sound of lawyers and lawsuits remain. And that endless bloodsucking.

    RIP Nokia. So sad to see what you have become.