Nokia phones banned in many EU markets Updated HMD Global statement
*Update – HMD Global has sent us an official statement regarding the ban that resulted from a lawsuit started by VoiceAgeEVS LLC. You can find the response at the end of the post.
The latest Nokia smartphones from G, X and C series can’t be found in stores across the German market, and probably in other European markets too. The main reason for that is a lawsuit filed against HMD Global by the company called VoiceAgeEVS LLC. The whole fuss is about the VoLTE protocol being used without permission which made VoiceAgeEVS LLC pretty active on EU courts. VoiceAge EVS LLC is a company that licenses a global, standard-essential patent portfolio relating to voice and audio technologies for smartphones and other products.
This company has sued other manufacturers like Apple, TCL and Lenovo, but those manufacturers settled outside of the court with VoiceAgeEVS LLC over the use of voice standards to make VoLTE calls over the LTE network.
HMD Global was also one of the manufacturers that used the voice standards without permission which led them to a lawsuit and ultimately a sales ban in Germany. According to the source of the story, HMD appealed the judgment of the German court, but Nokia smartphones won’t be sold in Germany till the court rules.
This ban is definitely not good for HMD Global which started seeing positive financial reports after 4 years in the business. Also, the timing isn’t great for the Finns since in just a few days a Mobile World Congress is starting and a ban is the last thing they needed now. I was pretty happy with the arrival of the G21 to the stores, and now all the efforts are endangered.
Statement from HMD Global
As the owner of a significant patent portfolio, HMD takes intellectual property rights seriously and is willing to offer and take licenses on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (“FRAND”) terms. HMD is a defendant in several lawsuits initiated by a company called VoiceAgeEVS LLC in different jurisdictions, including Germany. We are disappointed by the ruling of the VoiceAge lawsuit in Germany in December and are appealing.
HMD remains confident regarding the outcome of the overall dispute and will continue to provide consumers devices, accessories, and services that they love, trust and want to keep.
Given the excessive non-FRAND royalty demands made publicly by VAEVS, HMD has already taken measures to remove support for EVS from products sold in Germany to enable continued sales. HMD does not expect the removal of EVS functionality to have any meaningful impact on its business.
Via SuomiMobiili / Source Computerbild.de (German)