HTC One Mini banned in UK, HTC One could be next

By Alexandra Burlacu | Dec 03, 2013 10:06 AM EST

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The HTC One Mini will no longer be available for sale in the UK from Dec. 6, as it infringes patents owned by Nokia.

Patent infringement cases are no big surprise, as Apple and Samsung have been fighting an epic battle in courts worldwide over various patents. The dispute between Nokia and HTC was not as public, however, which makes this ruling a bit surprising to many.

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A London judge has ruled that starting on Friday, Dec. 6, HTC could no longer sell its One Mini handset in the UK, as the smartphone was found to have infringed on Nokia patents.

Moreover, Judge Richard Arnold has also ruled that the HTC One contained microchips that breached patents owned by Nokia as well. However, the judge has delayed an injunction against the HTC One for now, which means that HTC still has a chance to appeal this ruling. With the HTC One Mini, however, Nokia wins. According to the judge, banning HTC One Mini sales in the UK would cause considerable damage to HTC.

"Nokia is also claiming financial compensation for the infringement of its patent," said the Finnish company, according to Bloomberg. Nokia further told the publication that HTC has agreed not to import any more of its products into the UK pending the appeal.

HTC argued that the chips in question, which were found to infringe Nokia's patents, were "a very small component" that did not justify this sales injunction, Judge Arnold noted in his ruling on Tuesday, Dec. 3. The company reportedly sold roughly 750,000 smartphones with a value of £221 million ($363 million) in the UK between the months of January and September.

HTC launched its new HTC One flagship smartphone in the UK back in March. The smartphone received high praise for its top-tier specs and sleek metal design, and HTC decided to create spinoffs of the device. In the second half of 2013, the company launched its HTC One Mini and HTC One Max, i.e. smaller and larger versions of the flagship smartphone.

The HTC One Mini proved to be quite successful among smartphone shoppers who wanted a HTC One-like experience in a smaller form factor and at a more affordable price point. Following this ruling, however, HTC will be forced to pull its One Mini off the UK market.

Nokia has also filed a lawsuit against Apple over the same chip patent, but settled the case back in April 2011 after agreeing to license the technology to the iMaker. 


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