Not a day goes by, when one doesn’t hear news about the patent lawsuits filed by smartphone maker’s against each other. So, here is the one for today, though not actually patent related.
On Monday, Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) got an injunction issued by an Amsterdam district court, against component maker STMicroelectronics N.V. (NYSE:STM) resulting in a temporary ban on the supply of microphones for HTC Corp (TPE:2498)’s new flagship smartphone, the HTC One. The issue was not of patent infringement, but an exclusivity agreement between STMicroelectronics and Nokia.
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On Tuesday, HTC announced that a German court has ruled down Nokia’s accusation that HTC Corp (TPE:2498) infringed its patent concerning how its phone accesses the Internet.
Replying to the same, the Finnish company told it might have lost this case, but it still has many pending cases against the Taiwanese firm. Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) has about 30 more pending patent suits against HTC filed in Germany, the U.S. and the UK.
Many of the analysts are of the opinion that the lawsuits won’t affect HTC much as the company can use its existing supply of microphones while it finds other sources. According to a Barclay’s analysts, microphones are generally a “commodity component,” not as vital to cause a crucial bottleneck. Despite this, the lawsuit did take some of the shine from the HTC’s newest offering, which was getting good reviews.
HTC Corp (TPE:2498) has released an official statement that the injunction will not affect the HTC One as the products were purchased in good faith. The matter is only between Nokia and STMicroelectronics, the supplier of the component in question. The company told that it plans a transition to “improved microphone designs” as soon as the current inventory of microphones gets exhausted.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) have been waging a war for the top smartphone maker; similarly, Nokia and HTC are fighting for the runner-up status, behind industry leaders Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) and were not even there in the top five, surpassed by Chinese firms Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corporation (SHE:000063), as well as Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).
As per the data from the industry researcher IDC, in terms of global shipments till the middle of last year, Nokia and HTC were the world’s third and fourth largest smartphone makers. But by the end of the fourth quarter last year, both these company were not even there in the top five, surpassed by Chinese firms Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corporation (SHE:000063), as well as Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758).
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been one of the pioneers of the patent war, but now days it’s not that active, as are two of its patent war enemies, Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) and HTC Corp (TPE:2498). Both these companies have been engaged in patent wars with Apple for a long time now but have recently settled with the iPhone maker.