Firms face German patent problems

Taiwanese firm HTC has been ordered by German patent firm IPCOM to stop selling its smartphones in Germany. The injunction affects all HTC phones that use UMTS technology, which according to IPCOM, covers all HTC 3G devices. The firm, which sells an estimated 2 million smartphones in Germany each year, is the world’s fourth largest vendor of smartphones, but it has been facing problems of late. Not only have its Desire, Sensation and Wildfire models proved less popular than Apple’s iphones and Samsung’s Galaxy, but the company’s revenues have seen a quarter on quarter fall over the past year. The last two weeks of November saw the company’s share price fell by more than 30 percent. That means that with the exception of Blackberry maker Research in Motion, HTC shares have been the worst performing among smartphone companies this year.


The reason for HTC’s flagging fortunes have been put down to a lack of design changes over the previous two years, as well as ineffective branding compared to its Apple and Samsung rivals. That said, HTC chief financial officer Winston Yung believes things will turn around for the company in 2012 thanks to a mixture of new LTE phones for the US market and a number of flagship global product launches.


And while HTC was getting injunctions from IPCOM, Motorola was winning its own patents dispute in Germany, this time with Apple. The Android smartphone maker complained that Apple had failed to license one of its wireless intellectual properties. If Motorola decides to pursue an injunction this will result in the blocking of the sale of Apple products in Germany (although this is unlikely to happen before Christmas). Watch this space for more information, or alternatively get down to the GSMA Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona, 27 February – 1 March. For the best in accommodation, arranged transportation, hotel recommendations, and anything else you can think of to make your stay in Barcelona one to remember, look no further than EAS, the travel agent you can trust. With our expert local knowledge we can source rooms in the best hotels, find you the most centrally located apartments, organise airport transfers and other transportation needs, and even arrange yacht and aircraft charters. Click on this link for more information.