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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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Changes in EPO Divisional Deadlines


Time to Read: 1 minutes Practices: Intellectual Property

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Today the European Patent Office (EPO) announced that as of April 1, 2014, it will repeal the current 24-month time limit for filing divisional applications. Applicants will once again be able to file divisional applications at any time from a pending EP application. One caveat is that the fees for filing divisionals may increase for any second and subsequent generation divisional applications. These fees have yet to be made public.

Impact on Client Portfolios

Any EP application that is pending (not granted, refused or abandoned) on or after April 1, 2014 can be used as the basis for a divisional application, even if the current two-year limit has expired. We therefore suggest that companies review their EP patent portfolios to identify any pending EP applications on which it may be desirable to file a divisional application, but on which the current two-year time limit has expired, as there may be value in keeping these applications pending until after April 1, 2014.  

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