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UK court rules against HTC in patent-infringement case

TAIPEI -- Taiwan's HTC Corp. said Thursday that it will appeal an initial ruling in a patent-infringement dispute in the United Kingdom in favor of Finland's Nokia Corp.

The High Court of Justice of England handed down a preliminary decision a day earlier that HTC violated Nokia's EP0998024 patent on a “modulator structure for a transmitter and a mobile station,” which is seen by analysts as a powerful mobile phone hardware patent that is hard to get around.

Nokia said it will seek financial compensation and a sales ban on several HTC products in the U.K. that use certain Qualcomm Inc. and Broadcom Corp. chips, including HTC's current flagship phone, the new HTC One, and the mid-range HTC Wildfire.

“Naturally HTC is disappointed by the decision that the U.K. court has reached in this case and we will be seeking to appeal the ruling immediately,” HTC said.

In a separate statement, Nokia described the finding as “a significant development” in its dispute with HTC, adding that local counterparts of this patent are already in suit against HTC in Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

Nokia began its legal war against HTC last year and has asserted more than 50 patent lawsuits against the Taiwanese company in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, the U.K. and the U.S.

England's High Court is the third court this year to find that HTC has infringed on Nokia patents, bringing the number of patents found infringed upon to four.

In March, the Mannheim court in Germany ordered HTC to cease infringing on a Nokia power-saving patent, and the U.S. International Trade Commission also gave an initial determination in September that HTC has violated another two Nokia patents.

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