Nokia wins injunction blocking sales of microphones for HTC One

The decision is bad news for HTC but probably worse for microphone supplier STMicroelectronics, an analyst said

By Loek Essers, IDG News Service |  IT Management

STMicroelectronics spokesman Michael Markowitz said in an email that his company intends to appeal the decision. "In the meantime, we are ready to propose alternative solutions," he said, also declining to answer further questions.

"This is clearly not great news for HTC," said Pete Cunningham principal analyst at Canalys. HTC could maybe try to resolve the issue with Nokia and STMicroelectronics or look for another microphone supplier, Cunningham said. But changing suppliers probably isn't easily done, he said.

"HTC will lose momentum with the One in the market," he said, adding that this is a setback because the One has had fantastic reviews and was very well received.

Arguably though, the decision is worse for ST, Cunningham said. HTC might be entitled to compensation from ST if it wasn't aware of the exclusivity deal ST had with Nokia, he said. "The bigger issue though is how other suppliers are going to look to ST," he said. The courts' decision is not going to do very much good to ST's reputation in the market, he added.

Nokia and HTC have been fighting each other in courts over intellectual property in several countries. Nokia has asserted more than 40 patents against HTC in Germany, the U.S. and the U.K.

On March 19, Nokia was granted an injunction against the sale in Germany of some HTC handsets that infringe on a power-saving technology for mobile phones. To start enforcing the injunction against all HTC entities in the case Nokia should pay a bond of $13.6 million, the court said at the time. This injunction is now in effect, Nokia said on Monday.

Earlier in March, Nokia lost a patent lawsuit it brought against HTC in Mannheim, Germany, over its use of the Google Play app and content store client app in Android-based devices.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

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