Money Matters - Simplified

IPCom seeking ban on HTC sales in Germany

IPCom said it intends to stop the sale of all HTC smartphones in Germany with immediate effect.

Shoppers hoping to bag HTC smartphones this Christmas in Germany may have to face disappointment if a German patent firm has its way.

IPCom, based in Pullach, Germany, said it will be putting into action an injunction coming out of a court decision in Mannheim dating back to February 2009.

That injunction, it claims, is now coming into effect because HTC Corp. has pulled out its appeal before the matter could be resolved.

Enforcing ban immediately
IPCom said it intends to stop the sale of all HTC smartphones in Germany with immediate effect.

“We will use the right awarded by the courts, likely resulting in HTC devices disappearing from shops during the crucial Christmas season,” Bernhard Frohwitter, IPCom's managing director, said.

With the Christmas season so close, a ban on selling in Germany will be a huge setback to HTC.

It is not just HTC in IPCom's sights. IPCom has also filed several lawsuits against Nokia for allegedly violating its patents.

HTC, on the other hand, said it decided to drop the appeal because the patent in question had been partially invalidated by another German court.

Analysts said that dropping out of this lawsuit would give HTC sufficient time to resolve two other patents that are still pending in German courts.

With the Christmas season so close, a ban on selling in Germany will be a huge setback to HTC. Germany contributes significantly to smartphone sales in Europe, and losing out this market entirely to competitors is going to make matters worse for HTC.

HTC reported less than stellar results in its last quarter, and forecast that the results in the fourth quarter would dip further due to competition.