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German court dismisses Nokia patent claim against HTC, HTC 'delighted'

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In HTC and Nokia's ongoing patent litigation, one patent infringement claim against HTC was dismissed today by the District Court of Mannheim, Germany. The patent in question -- regarding "a communication network terminal for accessing internet" -- describes a "terminal" that can access the internet.

As FOSS Patents points out, today's dismissal was part of an ongoing collaboration between Google and Android phone makers who've been targeted by Nokia over claims against the Google Play store. "Nokia had alleged that Android's app architecture centered around the Google Play store infringes the '016 patent because of the way it allows third-party app developers to provide data to the end-user devices on which their programs run via a Google-operated server," the site notes. In that regard, today's dismissal marked a victory for Google beyond HTC -- though HTC issued a statement this afternoon exclaiming its "delight" over the court's ruling. Nokia has yet to return our request for comment.

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Today, the District Court of Mannheim dismissed a complaint by Nokia that HTC had infringed the German part of patent EP 1 581 016 (the '016 patent) entitled "A Communication Network Terminal for Accessing Internet", and awarded HTC its legal costs. In an almost unprecedented move, the Court handed down its judgment immediately after the hearing, indicating that Nokia's infringement case was so poor that the court required no time to deliberate further after hearing Nokia's oral arguments. Nokia claims to have spent €45bn on R&D in the last 20 years, but this investment has apparently not been supported by effective patent prosecution.

As with all of Nokia's patents asserted against HTC in Germany, HTC believes that this patent is invalid and will be continuing with the invalidity actions pending before the German Federal Patents Court and the English Patents Court.

To date, of the 24 infringement actions that Nokia has brought against HTC in Germany, two (EP 1329982 and EP 1474750) have been stayed because of concerns over validity, and three (EP 0812120, EP 1312974 and EP1581016) have now been dismissed outright. Together these decisions cast serious doubt on the strength of Nokia's patent portfolio and we remain confident that it poses little threat to HTC. HTC is delighted with this decision.

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