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HTC One Mini banned in UK: Judge sides with Nokia

A UK judge this week granted Nokia's request for an injunction against the HTC One Mini, but declined to immediately extend the same ban to the flagship HTC One.

At issue is a hardware patent for a "modular structure for a transmitter and a mobile station," technology found within the HTC One and HTC One Mini smartphones. HTC failed to secure a license for the technology from Nokia, prompting the lawsuit, which kicked off in May 2012, and has since expanded to dozens of courts, including the High Court.

Judge Richard Arnold ruled in favour of Nokia on 30 October, and this week he agreed to Nokia's request for an injunction on HTC devices. The ban on the HTC One Mini will go into effect this week, but an HTC One ban in the UK will be delayed pending HTC's appeal because pulling the HTC One from the market would significantly impact HTC's business.

HTC's evidence is that the consequences of an immediate injunction will be catastrophic for its UK business because the One is its flagship model," the judge concluded. "HTC paints a dramatic picture of what will happen."

Judge Arnold said he was "sceptical" about HTC's evidence since the phone maker "will shortly be launching its new flagship phone." Still, he acknowledged that there was a "period between now and February or March 2014 when HTC is vulnerable," and could suffer considerably.

Since the HTC One Mini was released more recently, however, the judge did not believe HTC would suffer as much by having it pulled from the UK market.

HTC's appeal will likely be held in July or October 2014, the judge said, so the HTC One will remain on the market at least until then.

"HTC is pleased by the decision of the High Court of England and Wales to stay an injunction against certain chipsets, including those in our flagship HTC One, pending the outcome of our appeal," an HTC spokesman said.

"Whilst the Court also granted an injunction that affects other third party chipsets, we have filed urgent application to appeal. In the meantime, we are working with our chip suppliers to explore alternative solutions. As always, HTC's primary focus is on supporting our customers and ensuring minimal disruption to them and our business. Rest assured that our award winning HTC One handset will be available as usual."

No other details about that new flagship phone were mentioned, meanwhile, but HTC unveiled the HTC One in February 2013, so an upgraded device in early 2014 wouldn't be too surprising.

To see what we might be missing out on soon, see ITProPortal's reviews of the HTC One and HTC One Mini.