Things could get even worse for HTC if the battered smartphone maker doesn’t move quickly. The WSJ is reporting that following a preliminary U.S. court win by Nokia, HTC is facing a possible import ban in its major overseas markets including the U.S. The ruling covers older HTC phones, but apparently the hot HTC One and other new devices also utilize the same radio technology covered in the lawsuit.
The WSJ is reporting that HTC is now working with Qualcomm to alter components to prevent another possible lawsuit. HTC is in rough shape as it is. Another lawsuit, or worse, an import ban, would douse the smartphone maker with more water as it tries to bail its already-sinking ship.
HTC is expected to report its first quarterly loss since its 2002 initial public offering. HTC is desperate, recently unloading its equity in Beats Electronics to try to shore up the smartphone maker’s cash balances. Once a top player in Android, HTC’s marketshare is shrinking, leading it to look at alternative markets including building a mobile OS for the Chinese market.
Nokia spokesman Mark Durrant told the Journal that even though the Nokia lawsuit started in 2012, before the HTC One hit the market, Nokia believes the One also violates its patents and would be included under any potential International Trade Commission ban.
HTC apparently has time before the final ruling in January 2014 to convince the ITC to reverse this ruling or present a workaround. It’s unclear at this time what HTC’s course of action might be, but this just adds to the company’s already overloaded pack animal. It likely won’t take much more to break its proverbial back.