Things are definitely not looking good for HTC. I know we say that a lot, but things are pretty bad right now. Due to a legal dispute with Nokia, all sales of Android-based HTC devices are banned in Germany. All this is over a patent that covers file sharing over Bluetooth via NFC, better known as Android Beam.
HTC is actually being sued in 7 countries over this patent because so far, it has not paid to license it. And since this is not a standard essential patent, it does not have to be licensed under FRAND terms. This means Nokia can basically do what it wants with the patent.
Since this is a standard feature in all modern Android phones, HTC isn’t the only one who could be in trouble. However, other companies are probably paying for use of this patent. Even so, Google is working to invalidate the patent.
For now, HTC will not be allowed to sell its devices until the feature is stripped from its devices, when Nokia posts a half billion dollar bail anyway. A software update can successfully remove Android Beam, but removing a feature isn’t exactly elegant (no matter how unused the feature is). It’s unfortunate that software patents end up in such actions. Hopefully something will be worked out soon.