HTC's Stopped Selling Phones in the UK Thanks to a Patent Dispute

By Tom Pritchard on at

HTC's phone division isn't anywhere near as popular as it once once, but now the company has been hit with another problem that's going to see its position in the UK phone market plummet even further. And it's all thanks to a long-running patent dispute with IPCom.

HTC has been involved in a patent dispute with IPCom for a long time, going as far back as 2009. All because it was ruled that HTC had infringed on one of IPCom's patents – specifically related to wireless technology used by car phones. HTC promised to use a workaround so that it could continue selling phones in the UK, but IPCom claims that this hasn't happened.

The German company claims it ran tests on HTC's phones earlier this year, and accused the Taiwanese phone-maker of failing to "play by the rules" and having "disregard for the law by contravening a UK court ruling."

An HTC spokesperson told BBC News:

"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."

Heading over to the HTC website and you'll find that all the company's phones are labelled 'Out of Stock', and the BBC reports that its phones have already been pulled from sale by Carphone Warehouse, O2, and EE. They are still available on Amazon, though, and not just from third-party sellers.

It's not clear if and when the situation will be resolved, but in the meantime the issue isn't affecting the HTC Vive VR headset range or the company's 5G router. [BBC News]