Judge's ruling on patent interpretation could lead to a ban on Android tethering

Judge's ruling on patent interpretation could lead to a ban on Android tethering
A ruling by Judge Thomas Pender on how to interpret a Nokia patent was decided in favor of the Finnish manufacturer and could result in the banning of the tethering feature on Android phones. The patent involved is U.S. Patent No 5,884,190 on a "method for making a data transmission connection from a computer to a mobile communication network for transmission of analog and/or digital signals." With the ruling, it becomes more difficult for HTC to deny that it infringed on the patent during the ITC trial, which is set to start in two months.

Google tried to get the judge to agree to a narrower "scope" of the patent, but failed. The Mountain View tech giant had hoped to be a co-defendant with HTC in the case and protect Android, but is only a third party intervenor. HTC can escape the charge if it can prove that they did not use even just one element of the patent. For example, Google was hoping to get the judge to accept its view that the patent required the connection involved to be connected to both analog and digital equipment at the same time, something that is not done with Android tethering. Instead, the judge said that "the device tests which network is available and transmits on that mode, whether the mode is analog or digital". 

Remember, the only thing that has been decided at this point, is how to interpret the patent involved. As we said earlier, the trial starts in two months and HTC and Google can try to claim prior art, which might be difficult since it would require finding some reference to thethering from the early 1990's. Or HTC could simply deny the infringement and if that fails, it can ask the 6 member ITC commission to overrule the judge. And if that fails, a ban on Android tethering could ensue. Or, as is most likely, Nokia will be receiving royalty checks from HTC. In case you're wondering, Apple and BlackBerry have already settled their legal difficulties with Nokia.

source: FOSSPatents



1. dragonite99 unregistered

burn in hell nokia


Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

Dieing struggling company is now becoming like Apple! Start to Litigate!

44. som

Posts: 768; Member since: Nov 10, 2009

Nokia will never be able to use Android OS, if Nokia win the case. Nokia will go bankrupt with Windows Phones.

70. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

hope so.....Apple + Nokia + Microsoft + Intel all of them led by pure devil :)

52. lovenyc8

Posts: 164; Member since: Mar 13, 2013

f**k nokia thats why there company is dying like blackberry keep suing and you and apple heading to hell and soon you both will be dead. nokia needs 100 years to get one step to Android.

54. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Nokia's defending its 16K patents which defined the industry, whereas apple uses its late-to-the-game patents to bully others for baloney disputes

56. johnnh

Posts: 37; Member since: Dec 18, 2012

You mean attacking the idea of FRAND in crossplatform features. These idiots saw htc's weakness when they reached a settlement with apple so they went all-in to try to get something too. Why they do not sue apple for tethering? or samsung? Nokia didn't make any stand out stuff rather than consumer friendly phones since the late 90s. They didn't created mobile phones, nor gsm, nor cdma nor any breakthrough technology that defined the industry. Just user friendly phones and leaded symbian development. What would had hapened if palm sued nokia for coping features from palm os to symbian? This patent war has turned so childish

66. sbw44

Posts: 433; Member since: Dec 04, 2012

Whats wrong? as soon as google gets sued Nokia is suddenly the bad guy? Lmao! Go Nokia!

72. jsdechavez

Posts: 799; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

Agree. Some of these people just don't get why research companies defend their hard-earned patents. You work on an idea, invent and discover something. If someone steals that idea or discovery won't you feel sad? You'd want it back right? Or at least you benefit from it. Nothing wrong with Nokia suing others. Apple, Blackberry and others have already agreed to pay to use some Nokia patents. Nothing wrong suing the competition.

71. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

this patent is sh*t...like to forward any message through middle participant, mediator ;)

81. mousesports

Posts: 286; Member since: Feb 28, 2013

maybe your brain will burn in hell of your ass

2. Ninetysix

Posts: 2964; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Ha ha!

4. darkvadervip

Posts: 366; Member since: Dec 08, 2010

Oh it's funny blackberry and apple can settle but google can't. Time to pay up google. Just imagine just a $1 for every android tablet and phone ever sold is a win win.


Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

Nokia are in desperate need for resources

24. faisal8708

Posts: 104; Member since: Nov 15, 2011

Maybe on the other hand it seems like Google wants to live on charity

23. quesoesgrande

Posts: 217; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

Google shouldn't have to settle. Google doesn't make the phones, therefore it isn't in control of whether or not tethering is in your device. (This is an educated guess, not a fact, but) Most people probably don't even use the tethering feature on their phones because it requires a higher monthly bill.

36. faisal8708

Posts: 104; Member since: Nov 15, 2011

Actually thts carriers bolckin a feature to make money otherwise tethering is available on unlocked phones I first used it on E71 and its a quite a valueable feature for many

37. faisal8708

Posts: 104; Member since: Nov 15, 2011

Nokia didnt sued Google they got involved on their own and wanted to be co-defendant but the court only allowed them to intervene

75. quesoesgrande

Posts: 217; Member since: Aug 03, 2011

That's besides the point. I was replying to comment four.

43. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

You are correct, they can't sue Google. Only the manufacturers.

62. haroonazeem638

Posts: 141; Member since: Mar 29, 2011

You do realize even if google loses this one, It's not google who has to pay? It's the manufacturers and who make and sell the phones.

73. jsdechavez

Posts: 799; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

Agree. But Google may not have to pay since it doesn't make phones and profit from it (also pointed out by quesoesgrande#23). However when Nokia starts suing the Android OEMS and starts winning, Android will definitely lose market share and revenues that's why Google acted as co-defendant. They ought to lose big that's why they're helping HTC.


Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

That's cuz' when you interpret in lai-man's terms you are talking TRILLIONS! Time to root and titha' for FREEE......!

5. Tele7

Posts: 47; Member since: Dec 12, 2012

Android been out since when? And they want to ban tethering now?

11. Hemlocke unregistered

Nokia is just getting around to them, it seems. I imagine Microsoft goaded them into it, such Android is such an easy target, given that very few features weren't developed elsewhere. I truly expect to see Nokia go for the jugular, especially since their mobile IP treasure trove is probably one of the most diverse and deep in the industry.

25. faisal8708

Posts: 104; Member since: Nov 15, 2011

They sued HTC after they settled with Apple which was i think 2010 or so no MS involvement at time so cheak ur facts

34. Hemlocke unregistered

It's not 2010, now, and Nokia is starting to ramp up their litigation and go after Android proper. Reading comprehension and spelling are your friends.

40. faisal8708

Posts: 104; Member since: Nov 15, 2011

I doubt Nokia is the one which sets court dates and this would not be a problem if HTC just pay royalities to Nokia like everyone else

60. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Who uses tethering? Presumably 'tethering' is when there is a hardwire connection between the computer and the mobile device. Every 'connection' I have recently seen between a computer and a mobile device operates by wireless link, as in WiFi. All HTC would need to do is disable the tethering function and they would seem to be good to go.

65. faisal8708

Posts: 104; Member since: Nov 15, 2011

Thts still tethering

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