HTC One mic troubles, Apple over Google: tech fights the legal fight

Lumia 720
Nokia is not happy with HTC

Ah, legal troubles. Does any tech firm not have a few?

A few tribunal tales have popped up today, but we'll start with the firm that always seems to find itself on either end of a lawsuit.

Apple actually got some welcome news as the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) threw out the final "patent-in-suit" remaining from a grievance filed in 2010 by Google-owned Motorola against the Cupertino company, as reported by FOSS Patents.

The patent in question dealt with a "sensor controlled user interface for portable communication devices," but the ITC ruled it invalid.

Movin' on

What it means for Apple is that it can continue to import iPhones into the U.S. that have the sensor (which causes the phone to ignore touch gestures when the user is on a phone call, for example).

Google can appeal the decision to the same court currently reviewing another ITC ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Judging by its history, this is an option Google will likely take.

Mic check

Across the pond in a little town called Amsterdam, the city's District Court granted a request put in by Nokia to place a preliminary injunction on supplies of microphone parts invented by and made exclusively for the Finnish firm. This is according to a Nokia statement picked up by Engadget today.

The loser on the other side is HTC, which reportedly uses the components in its flagship One phone, a device that only recently starting shipping to customers after delays. The mics are said to be found in the Lumia 720.

"HTC has no license or authorization from Nokia to use these microphones or the Nokia technologies from which they have been developed," the statement read.

"In its marketing materials, HTC claims that its HDR microphone is a key feature for the HTC One, but it is Nokia technology, developed exclusively for use in Nokia products," it continued.

Apparently, HTC using Nokia parts without permission is an ongoing issue, and Nokia wants its competitor to "compete using its own innovations and to stop copying from Nokia."

HTC said it was disappointed by the decision and is looking at what impact it will have on its business as well as alternative solutions.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.