After going through several executive departures, a Q3 loss and component supply issues, it's safe to say that 2013 hasn't exactly been kind to HTC. Now it looks like the Taiwanese firm will end the year with another blow to the chin thanks to a U.K. import ban.
Judge Richard Arnold has ruled that the HTC One mini violates patents owned by Nokia and, as a result, sales of the device have been banned in the U.K. The judge went on to say that the full-size One features parts that could cause it to face a ban as well, but he decided to hold off on issuing an injunction to give HTC an opportunity to appeal the ruling, explaining that a ban on the One would cause "considerable" damage to the company.
In a statement issued to Bloomberg, Nokia said that it's seeking financial recompense for HTC's patent violation. HTC has yet to comment on the ruling, but during the case it argued that a sales ban wouldn't be justified because the infringing chips are a "very small" part of the device.
A product ban is never good news, but HTC is lucky to only be facing an injunction against the One mini for now. As I mentioned before, the company has had a pretty rough 2013, and a U.K. ban on sales of its flagship product certainly wouldn't help matters, especially as we head into the holiday season. Now HTC must work to find a way to get the One mini back in stores. While the shrunken handset may not be as big as the One, I'm sure that HTC would like to have all of its products readily available for smartphone shoppers in the U.K.