HTC One may be in danger of US import ban thanks to Nokia patent win

One big mess for HTC

Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC continues to draw attention for all the wrong reasons as the company is said to be working with chipmaker Qualcomm to avoid a U.S. import ban on its products.

The Wall Street Journal reported today that a preliminary ruling last week by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) could have serious implications for HTC in the months ahead.

A judge ruled that one of HTC's older smartphones infringed upon two Nokia patents related to the enhanced transmission and reception of phone calls. Though the tech pertains to older models, the Finnish manufacturer sees a potential sticky situation arise for the HTC One.

As the Journal's sources tell it, the One and other more recent HTC handsets use the same tech that would be banned should the ITC enforce its ruling.

The chip at the heart of the matter was manufactured by Qualcomm, who has yet to comment whether or not the ruling could affect other customers.

Tricky business

HTC has until January 2014 to address the patent violations, when the ITC will decide if the preliminary ruling will become a full-on import ban.

Among the options are developing a workaround with Qualcomm, a licensing agreement with Nokia or persuading the trade commission to reverse the initial ruling.

According to unnamed sources familiar with HTC's plans, the manufacturer appears to be taking the first option, which could prove potentially tricky since any fix would require an update to existing hardware.

Regardless of that outcome, HTC will likely be on the hook to Nokia for some kind of financial compensation once the ruling is made official.

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