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HTC ceases smartphones sales in UK amid patent disputes

HTC has ceased selling its phones in the UK after patent disputes appear to have forced the Taiwanese company to remove devices for sale.

According to the BBC, HTC has since listed all of its phones as “out of stock” on the UK site despite still selling devices globally. The company has been involved in an ongoing dispute with research and development firm IPCom over in-car wireless tech.

HTC was allowed to continue sales of smartphones and devices in the UK so long as they complied with an agreed-upon ‘workaround’. IPCom has since accused HTC of failing to comply with this promise after they conducted tests earlier this year that showed no workaround had been implemented on a specific device. The device in question is the Desire 12, a budget handset that we even spent time with last year.

IPCom, therefore, claims that HTC has failed to “play by the rules” and displayed “disregard for the law by contravening a UK court ruling”. The Carphone Warehouse, O2, EE and other larger UK retailers have also followed HTC’s lead by removing devices for sale following this spat. Amazon UK is still selling a wide range of HTC devices though.

An HTC spokeswoman said: “As a leading innovator, HTC takes intellectual property issues very seriously. We are proactively investigating an infringement claim by a third party with respect to a single handset model.”

Considering that HTC sales continue to fall year-on-year, this is not the kind of turmoil the company needs when they are struggling. Should the situation change, we’ll be sure to keep you updated.

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Avatar for Damien Wilde Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter @iamdamienwilde. Email

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