July 26, 2012

Timetable Set For Nokia Case Against HTC; Don’t Hold Your Breath

Time moves so slowly in the legal system that it can be difficult to keep track of the progress in the patent-related disputes between the various smartphone and tablet players. Just look at the recent news of injunctions against Samsung Androids stemming from its battle with Apple; those request were filed months and months ago, and followed previous requests (subsequently denied) that trace back to last year. We’re just at the start of what looks to be another protracted exchange, and this one between Nokia and HTC
Earlier this year, Nokia made claims of patent infringement against HTC, RIM, and ViewSonic. The Administrative Law Judge overseeing those charges in the US has now set a date for the final ruling on the matter, scheduled not to occur until January 23, 2014. There should be a preliminary ruling in September of 2013, but as you can see, we’re a very long way off from the end of this matter.
What’s Nokia’s problem with HTC? The complaint names nine of Nokia’s patents, and extends to some eighty-seven specific claims regarding them. Looking through just what patents are at play here, there’s what could be a refreshing bit of a shift away from obvious-sounding software patents. Sure, there are still plenty of those in here, like “synchronization of databases using filters”, a “communication network terminal supporting a plurality of applications”, or a “calendar-display apparatus, and associated method, for a mobile terminal”. On the other hand, Nokia names patents like one for a “method for attenuating spurious signals and receiver” that sound like the kind of genuine technological advancement worth protecting.
Because Nokia is bringing up so many different types of patents in its complaint is one of the reasons why the case is scheduled to take so very long. Some of those patents may be removed from the complaint as the case progresses, but it still looks like we’re in for quite the long wait before we’ll see things fully resolved.
Source: FOSS Patents

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