Friday, March 15, 2013

Nokia drops several claims of one patent from its ITC case against HTC -- but Google wants more

Nokia has further narrowed its ITC complaint against HTC. In a letter sent to Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Thomas Pender yesterday, which entered the public electronic record today, Nokia said that it "is no longer asserting the means-plus-function claims associated with U.S. Patent No. 7,415,247", which "reduces the amount of asserted claims of the '247 patent by approximately 40%" and "eliminates the need to construe 66% of the original means-plus-function terms during the upcoming Evidentiary Hearing". The evidentiary hearing (trial) is scheduled for May 31-June 7, 2013.

Nokia originally asserted nine patents in its ITC complaint against HTC (for a complete list see this post). On a worldwide basis (including not only the ITC investigation but also federal lawsuits in the District of Delaware as well as lawsuits in Germany and the UK) Nokia is asserting a total of 40 patents against HTC.

The ITC investigation had previously been narrowed from nine patents-in-suit to seven by

Nokia's letter indicates that some further narrowing is possible, but it appears that Nokia wants more information relating to HTC's and Google's defenses. Google is participating in this investigation as a third-party intervenor with respect to patents that allegedly read on Google's mandatory closed-source components of Android.

Google and HTC have previously expressed dissatisfaction with Nokia's efforts to narrow the scope of the investigation. Yesterday Google filed a "Letter to Judge Pender on Ways to Streamline the Investigation". At least for now, that letter is confidential.

I doubt that this ITC investigation will be concluded. I believe there will be a settlement as a result of various upcoming decisions in Germany, including one on Tuesday (March 19) in Mannheim.

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