Taiwanese manufacturer HTC has officially been notified of a UK sales ban of its HTC One Mini, which comes into effect as of this Friday. The HTC One Mini is being pulled from shelves as HTC has been accused by Nokia for infringing upon a Nokia held patent. One of the HTC phone’s microchip communications components is responsible for the intellectual property breach.
Justice Richard Arnold approved the ban today and also ruled that a similar sales block could soon be inflicted upon the flagship HTC One. Arnold has held off issuing an injunction for One handsets so HTC has time to prepare for an appeal, since such a ban could cause “considerable” damage to the company. The injunction is subject to an appeal on 6th December. If the appeal fails, of course, the ban will go ahead.
HTC argued that the infringed microchips were only “a very small component” which shouldn’t justify a sales ban, reported The Telegraph. HTC also stated that it doesn’t compete with Nokia in the UK since their respective mobiles run different operating systems.
This patent is piling painful legal pressure onto HTC since Nokia has previously forced HTC to change its microphone supplier for its One handset. Having its flagship banned in a major market such as the UK is the last thing HTC needs since it’s already dealing with quarterly losses of around $100M (£60M) and it comes amid recent reports of a former executive allegedly stealing trade secrets from the company.
With Nokia planning to go on and claim financial compensation for the infringement, HTC has made the following statement following today’s court ruling: "Whilst the Court also granted an injunction that affects other third party chipsets, we have filed urgent application to appeal. In the meantime, we are working with our chip suppliers to explore alternative solutions. As always, HTC's primary focus is on supporting our customers and ensuring Minimal disruption to them and our business. Rest assured that our award winning HTC One handset will be available as usual.”
Update: We have learned that the HTC One Max, HTC One SV, HTC One X+, HTC 8X and HTC 8S are all also affected by the sales ban.