HTC may ignore German patent ban, risks 250,000 euro per phone fine

nrd2151-i2HTC has said it will ignore the IPCom patent complaint which was decided against the company, and which would ultimately lead to a ban in the sale of HTC handsets, including their Windows Phones ones, in Germany.

HTC said that Ipcom’s intellectual property claim had already been ruled invalid by the German Federal Patents court in December 2010, but notable experts disagree. The patents relate to how phones connect to 3G base stations.

HTC has dropped its appeal case against an earlier decision which favoured IPCom, leaving the company with a default judgement.

"Since HTC has never come up with an offer that adequately reflects the value of these patents, Ipcom has been left with no choice – we will use the right awarded by the courts, likely resulting in HTC devices disappearing from shops during the crucial Christmas season," said Ipcom’s managing director, Bernhard Frohwitter.

He added that if HTC ignored the order Ipcom would ask for the phone maker to be fined.

"It’s up to the court and could go up to 250,000 euro (£213,000) per violation per phone," Mr Frohwitter said.

Ipcom said it has now told HTC that it intends to enforce the ban.

What IPCom is however after is ultimately license fees. He added that Ipcom was still willing to settle, providing HTC agreed to pay a "fair" licence fee.

HTC only sold 1.43 million phones into Germany in the last 9 months, making it an important but not vital market.  It remains to be seen if HTC is willing to deal or not.

Read more at the BBC here.