- VoiceAgeEVS has filed a lawsuit against HMD Global
- VAEVS has sued it over patents related to VoLTE and EVS
- The lawsuit has resulted in a sales ban on Nokia phones in Europe
Nokia G, X, and C smartphones are no longer available for purchase in Germany and other European markets. The reason behind it is that a firm named VoiceAgeEVS (VAEVS) has filed a lawsuit against HMD Global, which has resulted in the sales ban on Nokia phones.
The Finland based smartphone manufacturer has been sued by VAEVS over patents related to VoLTE and the Enhanced Voice Service (EVS) standard. VAEVS had applied for a sales ban on Nokia smartphones back in December 2021. Now, the courts have ruled in favour of VAEVS.
Nokia smartphone sales banned in Europe
Several Nokia phones have been delisted from Nokia’s European websites. For instance, the Nokia G21 and Nokia G11 smartphones are no longer listed on the websites of Nokia Germany and Nokia Switzerland. Nokia phones from 2021 or older are not listed on these sites. The regional Nokia websites for France, Italy, Spain, and Finland only have the G21 available for purchase. The older Nokia phones are listed on these sites, but they are not available for purchase.
Nokia brand was resurrected by Finland-based HMD Global in 2017. After being in business for four years, the company has recently started seeing positive financial results. Since it is unclear how long the sales ban will continue, it is likely to significantly impact Nokia’s smartphone business in Europe.
In 2020, VAEVS filed lawsuits against manufacturers such as Apple, Lenovo, and TCL over its EVS patents. These companies opted for out of court settlement. As far as HMD Global is concerned, it has appealed the judgement of the German court. Until the court rules in the favour of the Finnish brand, the Nokia phones will not be available for purchase in Germany.
HMD Global’s official statement on the sales ban
“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 Global said in a statement.
“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,” the company added.
“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.”