HTC could be forced to update its flagship One handset or face a U.S. import ban following an initial ruling against the Taiwanese company from the U.S. International Trade Commission over patent infringement accusations from rival smartphone-maker Nokia. Previous reports suggested the patents only affected HTC’s older devices, but The Wall Street Journal now claims the ruling covers the HTC One as well.
Nokia’s patent infringement claims, which relate to the way smartphones and tablets send and receive mobile signals, were initially filed in 2012, and the ITC is expected to deliver a final ruling in Jan. 2014. WSJ reports that HTC is already working with U.S. chip-maker Qualcomm to tweak the handset’s design in order to prevent an import ban or any future lawsuits.
HTC saw an early rise to dominance as one of the first phone-makers to work with Google, even manufacturing the Nexus One, but in recent years the Taiwanese company has struggled to compete. A ban on the HTC One in the U.S. could potentially be enough to finish the company off once and for all, though it will likely take more than an updated processor to bring the sinking OEM back to profitability.