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HTC allowed to use already-purchased One parts

TAIPEI -- Taiwan's HTC Corp. said yesterday that it still has the right to use microphone parts already purchased from STMicroelectronics NV for its flagship phone, the new HTC One, despite a Dutch court injunction on STM.

Nokia Oyj announced April 22 that it had won a preliminary injunction from the Amsterdam District Court in the Netherlands to prevent STM from selling “dual-membrane microphone” components to HTC.

The Finnish handset maker said it filed the action after finding the components in the HTC device. The company claimed that the components were invented by Nokia and manufactured exclusively for Nokia phones.

“The judgment against STM states that HTC can continue to use microphones already purchased from STM in its products, because they were purchased in good faith. Nokia's attempt to obtain a recall of microphones already sold to HTC has failed,” HTC said in an email reply to CNA.

The Taoyuan-based manufacturer said it plans a “transition to improved microphone designs once its inventory of STM microphones is exhausted.”

In fact, Nokia has not obtained an injunction in the Netherlands or anywhere else against HTC, because the Dutch proceedings were brought by Nokia solely against STM, according to HTC.

The Taiwanese firm explained that the Dutch injunction prohibits STM from selling certain microphones to any company other than Nokia for “a limited period,” but declined to specify the actual length of the period.

U.S.-based tech news website Engadget reported April 23 that the Amsterdam court had handed down a 10-month ban on STM selling its microphone components in the case to anyone other than Nokia.

The court also stated that HTC was “blameless” because it could not have known about the confidential contract signed between Nokia and STM, the report said.

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