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September 26, 2017

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HTC wins infringement suit brought by Nokia in Germany

TAIPEI -- A German court on Thursday dismissed a patent infringement complaint filed by Nokia Oyj against Taiwan's HTC Corp. in relation to technology that allows users to accept calls while downloading software updates.

Judge Matthias Zigann of the District Court in Munich ruled that HTC's devices did not violate Nokia's patent EP0804046 on a "method and apparatus for updating the software of a mobile terminal using the air interface."

HTC said it is pleased with the ruling and believes the patent will be found invalid eventually.

"This decision follows a string of similar dismissals against other patents that Nokia has tried to assert against HTC in Germany," the Taoyuan-based company said in a statement.

"We will continue to pursue the invalidity action pending before the German Federal Patent Court and expect the patent to be revoked in due course," HTC said.

The patent-in-suit does not cover all over-the-air updates but a particular way of enabling mobile phone users to accept calls while downloading an update, according to a blog post by technology patent expert Florian Mueller.

Nokia, which has filed a series of patent-infringement complaints against HTC since 2012, said in a statement that it "respectfully disagrees with" the judgment of the Regional Court in Munich and is considering an appeal.

The ruling came after the same court found in December 2013 that two other Nokia patents were infringed by HTC products, enabling Nokia to enforce injunctions against the import and sale of all infringing HTC products in Germany, as well as to obtain damages for past infringement.

The previous two German rulings in favor of the Finnish handset maker were on a USB-related patent and a patent on certain kinds of negotiated data transfer over NFC and Bluetooth connections. Most of the infringing HTC products were outdated models and were no longer available in Germany.

Since 2012, Nokia has asserted more than 50 patents against HTC and believes that HTC has been free riding on Nokia technologies.

Regional Courts in Mannheim and Munich in Germany, the UK High Court of Justice of England and Wales, and the U.S. International Trade Commission have found that HTC infringed on six Nokia patents.

HTC shares ended down 1.15 percent at NT$128.5 (US$4.28) Thursday in Taipei trading, while the broader market dropped 0.48 percent.

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