(Repeats to additoinal subscribers)
* IPCom says to enforce 2009 injunction
* IPCom expects to halt HTC sales in Germany over Christmas
By Tarmo Virki, European Technology Correspondent
Nov 25 German patent firm IPCom plans to halt as
quickly as possible the sale of all HTC smartphones in
Germany, another blow to the Taiwanese firm just two days after
it shocked markets by cutting its fourth-quarter outlook.
IPCom said on Friday it would enforce an injunction based on
a Mannheim court decision from February 2009 after HTC, the
fourth largest smartphone vendor globally, withdrew its appeal,
which was due to be decided on next week.
"IPCom now intends to execute this injunction in the
shortest possible time," the company said in a statement.
"We will use the right awarded by the courts, likely
resulting in HTC devices disappearing from shops during the
crucial Christmas season."
HTC confirmed it pulled the appeal on Friday and said it
thought it was redundant as a German patent court has questioned
the validity of the patent in question.
Analysts and lawyers said the withdrawal gives HTC time to
battle against two other patents which could have been decided
upon next week, while it can still try to delay the original
"While HTC can try to oppose the enforcement of the
injunction, my research shows that the odds are very long
against HTC on this one," said German patent expert and blogger
Possible sales halt in Germany, one of the largest
smartphone markets in Europe, comes at a time when HTC struggles
to hold on to its position on the smartphone market.
"This represents an unwelcome distraction during an already
difficult quarter for HTC," said CCS Insight analyst Geoff
Late last month, HTC warned that revenue would fall by up to
8 percent in October-December from the third quarter, and this
week it flagged a much bigger drop, citing tougher competition
and the global downturn.
The stock has fallen 30 percent in eight straight trading
The popularity of Apple's iPhones and Samsung
Electronics's Galaxy line-up, recession-weary
shoppers and long-running lawsuits have taken the gloss off what
was one of the industry's biggest success stories.
IPCom has battled for years against HTC and Nokia
in European courts.
IPCom had acquired Bosch's mobile telephony patent
portfolio, created between the mid-1980s and 2000, which
includes about 160 patent families worldwide, including some of
the key patents in the wireless industry, such as patent 100,
which standardises a cellphone's first connection to a network.
(Additional reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Will