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U.K. Supreme Court Permits SEP Holders to Require Worldwide FRAND Licenses

On August 26, 2020, the U.K. Supreme Court—the U.K.’s highest court—issued its highly anticipated decision in Unwired Planet International v. Huawei involving the “Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory” (“FRAND”) licensing of standard essential patents (“SEPs”) in the telecommunications space. The decision in several consolidated cases rejected all appeals from Huawei and ZTE and affirmed the decisions from the London High Court (Justice Birss) and Court of Appeals. The Court concluded that owners of patents essential to ETSI’s telecommunications standards (including 2G, 3G, and 4G (LTE)) can demand that an implementer practicing a U.K. SEP take a license on FRAND terms to all of the patent owner’s worldwide telecommunications SEPs, and can obtain an injunction should the implementer refuse. This decision has significant implications for FRAND licensing, assertion of SEPs, and antitrust issues both in the telecommunications context and more broadly.

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October 1 Deadline for Public Comment on EU Unitary Patent System


Time to Read: 1 minutes Practices: Intellectual Property Litigation, Patent Strategy

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As previously announced, the preparatory committee for Europe’s Unitary Patent System is soliciting public comment on its draft rules of procedure, which will be applied by the divisions of the new Unified Patent Court (see our prior Alert). This is a reminder that the deadline for comment submission is October 1, 2013. 
 
This is an unusual opportunity for international companies to voice their suggestions for enhancing the system. Many international companies have already commented. All are invited and encouraged to participate. 
 
Comments should be sent to the following email address: secretariat@unified-patent-court.org.
 
Key issues that are still developing and are in particularly need of public comment include:

  • standards for deciding when to grant injunctions (Rule 211) 
  • standards for deciding when to bifurcate infringement and validity (Rules 37, 40, 118) 
  • restrictions on a claimant’s ability to “forum shop” among different local divisions within the EU, and 
  • costs for opting out and ongoing maintenance of patent portfolios in the new system 

If you have questions about these issues, how your company will be impacted, or how to prepare your company to take advantage of the new rules, please contact Ed Kelly.

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