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HTC appeals UK injunction of One mini sales over patent infringement

Taipei -- HTC Corp. (宏達電) said Wednesday that it has appealed a London judge's ruling which blocked sales of its One mini smartphone in Britain after the Taiwanese phone maker was found to have infringed on patents owned by Nokia Oyj.

Judge Richard Arnold ruled on Tuesday that HTC could not sell the smaller version of its flagship HTC One device in Britain beginning on Dec. 6, according to Bloomberg News.

The judge also found that the flagship HTC One itself contained microchips that violated a Nokia patent, but he did not impose an injunction against the product to give HTC time to appeal, given that a sales ban on the One phone would cause “considerable” damage to HTC, the report said.

HTC told CNA that it was pleased with the judge's decision to stay an injunction against certain chipsets, including those in its flagship HTC One, pending the outcome of the company's appeal against the validity and infringement of Nokia's EP0998024 patent.

The patent is described as a “modular structure for a transmitter and a mobile station.”

“Whilst the Court also granted an injunction that affects other third party chipsets, we have filed an urgent application to appeal. In the meantime, we are working with our chip suppliers to explore alternative solutions,” HTC said in an e-mailed statement.

“As always, HTC's primary focus is on supporting our customers and ensuring minimal disruption to them and our business. Rest assured that our award winning HTC One handset will be available as usual,” the Taoyuan-based company said.

HTC sold approximately 715,000 smartphones in Britain from January to September this year, with revenues of 221 million pounds (US$363 million), according to the judgment.

HTC is a small player in the British smartphone market with only a 3 percent market share, compared with a 6 percent share held by Nokia, the judgment said.

The British smartphone market, projected to be worth US$9 billion by year-end, is currently dominated by Apple Inc. with a 39 percent share and Samsung Electronics Co. with a 33 percent share, the judgment said.

Nokia said in a statement that HTC has agreed not to ship any more of the infringing products into the country except for the HTC One, which it may continue to sell until the conclusion of any appeal.

Nokia said it is also seeking financial compensation for the infringement of its patent.

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