European Patent Office

 

Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) and HTC  Corp (TWSE: 2498) today had a sigh of relief when the European Patent Office ruled a patent that was in contention in their favor.

The patent dispute had threatened to stop sales of Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK), and HTC phones in Europe. According to the Patent Office in Europe, Ipcom, an intellectual property licensor had asked that two handsets from the giant mobile company be banned, when Nokia refused to meet any of its conditions.

The patent dispute was based on a wireless technology that was made by Bosch for a telephone system used in cars. The said technology was sold in 2007, and it relates to a phone’s first connection made to a network.

The ruling made in favor of Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) found that the patent was invalid in its current form.

However, Ipcom did not take the ruling lying down saying that they were going to appeal. The case first made headlines when Ipcom challenged HTC in a court in Germany in 2009. In fact, before then Ipcom had written to a number of retailers and wholesalers asking them to stop selling 3G devices from HTC or else they were going to sue them.

Nokia’s management said that Ipcom should stop pursuing the case, since it has not won, and that the opportunistic case had not been successful.

This has not been the first time that Ipcom has been in battle with Nokia. Last year, the firm which has a number of mobile patents, had won a case against Nokia for a patent related to 3G.

Ipcom had also won another case against Nokia when a ruling had been made in its favor. The ruling had determined that Nokia had infringed on patents held by Ipcom.

Additionally, in another ruling, the patent court had ordered that Vodafone, and Deutsche Telekom stop selling devices that had infringed on some of Ipcom’s patents.

Therefore, the ruling today in favor of Nokia was a major setback. This is since Ipcom had been on a winning streak with most patent rulings made in its favor. It is for this reason that Nokia is seeking more clarification on the judgment. The mobile giant believes that the ruling needs to be made clearer, since the patents in dispute apply to some of its old handsets which are no longer in use or production.

But Ipcom is adamant that the ruling was not made in its favor since one of the features in question is too broad. Therefore, the appeal that they are going for is meant to ensure that the courts realize this. In fact, Ipcom added that the judgment today, which did not go in its favor, will not affect other previous rulings.

However, the head of patents at Nokia is of the opinion that none of the demands made by Ipcom are realistic. This is because of all 62 patents from Ipcom where rulings have been made, none of them has been found valid. Therefore, Nokia asks that Ipcom should stop making demands that are unrealistic and which cannot be met.