HTC Still Faces Patent|Claims On Smartphones

     MARSHALL, Texas (CN) – A patent-infringement case aimed at HTC smartphones, including the Google Nexus One and the T-Mobile Shadow Hotspot, will stay put in Texas, a federal judge ruled.
     MobileMedia Ideas says HTC’s smartphones violate 11 of its patents. The patent owner sued Taiwan-based HTC and its subsidiary HTC America, collectively referred to as HTC, in the Eastern District of Texas.
     The 15-page complaint targets 16 HTC smartphones, including the Imagio, Ozone, Droid Eris, Google Nexus One and T-Mobile Shadow Hotspot.
     U.S. District Judge T. John Ward rejected HTC’s motion for dismissal, finding that MobileMedia properly alleged claims of willful and indirect infringement.
     MobileMedia supported those claims and made a point for direct infringement, according to the five-page order filed Thursday.
     “Although it is not clear whether HTC is even arguing that MobileMedia’s complaint sufficiently pleads direct infringement, to be clear, the court holds that the complaint sufficiently pleads direct infringement,” Ward wrote.
     “The complaint goes so far as to list specific accused product models that are accused of direct infringement,” he added. “This court has held that a complaint is not even required to list specific product models.”
     Ward went on to say that “pleading requirements for willful infringement in this District and the Federal Circuit do not appear to be clearly established.” The judge determined that “the bar for pleading willful infringement is not high,” and he was satisfied by MobileMedia’s inclusion of a list indicating the times it notified HTC of its patent issues by letter.
     “Courts in this district have generally required more facts for pleading indirect infringement,” Ward said, noting that MobileMedia had satisfied those requirements.
     HTC also lost its bid to transfer the case to the Northern District of California, which the judge dismissed without prejudice in a separate order.
     HTC America became incorporated in Washington and moved its main business there after MobileMedia filed suit. Leery of HTC America’s move away from Texas, Ward wrote “it appears that HTC may be attempting to manipulate venue, which has been discouraged by recent Federal Circuit cases.”
     The judge gave HTC the opportunity to file an amended motion to transfer, but only after allowing MobileMedia 60 days to conduct discovery on the issue.

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