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HTC Gadgets Held at German Airport Owing to Patent Claims

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HTC One Zoe BlinkFeed BoomSoundKIRCHBERG, Germany – Some HTC devices shipped into Germany were held by customs officers at the Frankfurt-Hahn airport at the behest of patent monetization entity IPCom.

The Taiwanese smartphone vendor told a judge in Manheim, Germany, that IPCom applied for border seizure of HTC’s 3G-compatible devices as part of its efforts to force the maker of the HTC One and Droid devices to accept patent licensing terms. In another instance last year, IPCom asked police to seize HTC devices that were showcased at the CeBIT trade show in Germany.

IPCom bought a portfolio of wireless patents from Robert Bosch GmbH, who built mobile phones in the 90s but quickly exited the business. The company wants HTC to cease and desist from selling 3G-compatible devices in Germany until it negotiates licensing terms for Bosch’s patents essential to cellular telecommunications standards.

Unlike in the U.S., where trials or hearings are required before an import ban is required, European regulations allow customs action merely on the grounds of suspected infringement.

There are no reports of shortages of HTC devices in Germany.

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By , International Correspondent, Cebo (Philippines) office
Published on Feb 21st, 2013 GMT +2

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