Monday, August 19, 2013

ITC lets Nokia assert another patent against HTC's Android devices in recently-launched investigation

On July 23 I reported on a Nokia motion to amend its second ITC complaint against HTC, the investigation of which is in the relatively early stages. Nokia had originally asserted U.S. Patent No. 7,366,529 on a "communication network terminal supporting a plurality of applications" in the ITC investigation of its first (May 2012) ITC complaint against HTC, but it experienced a setback when an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) referred the patent (or, more precisely, the question of whether the patent is subject to an arbitration clause in a standard-essential patent license agreement, despite Nokia's insistence that it's not a SEP) to arbitration and the Commission, the six-member decision-making body at the top of the U.S. trade agency, declined to overrule the ALJ.

You can find further detail on this issue and the role that a UK complaint by HTC might have played in it by following the first link provided in this post. Today I just wanted to quickly share the news that Nokia has been allowed to assert the '529 patent, which it believes is infringed by Android's routing of data to apps, in the ITC investigation of its second complaint against HTC. The order itself is sealed for now (and HTC can still ask the Commission to review it), but the headline (which showed up today on the ITC's document system) states the outcome (click on the image to enlarge or read the text below the image):

08/16/2013 02:49 PM

Theodore R. Essex


Administrative Law Judge

Certain Portable Electronic Communications Devices, including Mobile Phones and Components Thereof; Inv. No. 337-TA-885

Initial Determination Granting Motion to Amend the Complaint and Notice of Investigation

HTC has scored a number of defensive wins against Nokia, but there are still many patents waiting to be adjudged. The '529 patent is an interesting one that HTC will now have to defend itself against. Presumably Google, which is an intervenor in this investigation with respect to certain patents allegedly infringed by Android, will also respond to Nokia's infringement contentions.

A preliminary ruling on Nokia's first ITC complaint against HTC is due in about a month. In the meantime, a couple of HTC countersuits against Nokia will be adjudicated in Germany.

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