Lenovo is currently prohibited from selling computers in Germany due to a lawsuit with Nokia. A court had imposed a sales ban. It could hit other brands just as hard.

Lenovo suffered a serious defeat in the patent dispute over a video compression standard. As the notebook manufacturer announces on its website, PCs, notebooks and tablets are currently not available in Germany. The reason is a sales ban imposed by the court, report the Reuters news agency and the tech site “golem.de”.

Lenovo is best known for its business notebooks, such as the Thinkpad or Yoga series. The legal dispute is about such devices. Other I.T accessories for the office, like observers, is not affected by the court order. There are no restrictions in neighboring Austria, the ban only applies to Germany.

How did the sale stop?

The sale freeze follows a court ruling at the end of September. At the time, a Munich court confirmed that some of the patents for the so-called H.264 codec belong to Nokia. Lenovo and other manufacturers using the standard in connection with their hardware would pay a license fee from Nokia. However, as the companies could not agree on the terms, there was a legal dispute and the sale was halted. Lenovo accuses Nokia of unfair and discriminatory terms.

The decision in favor of Nokia could also be important for other hardware manufacturers who install and sell H.264-compatible processors on their devices. For example, according to “golem.de”, the German car manufacturer Daimler is arguing with Nokia. Again, it’s about patent rights and license fees. Again, the same court in Munich should rule as in the Lenovo case. Negotiations begin on October 30.

Lenovo still hopes that the Munich ruling will be quashed. According to its own information, the company has already appealed. Apparently the goal is to get Nokia back to the negotiating table. Until then, interested buyers will have to purchase their devices from a foreign subsidiary of Lenovo.

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