05 April 2017
London
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Unwired Planet wins twice in one week


The UK High Court has ruled in favour of Unwired Planet in litigation against Huawei involving standard essential patents (SEPs).

Unwired Planet’s case revolved around its standard essential patents for mobile telecommunications, which it has committed to licensing under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.

The court ruled that if Huawei doesn’t agree to enter into a licensing agreement with Unwired for its patent portfolio, it could be enjoined from selling its mobile phones in the UK.

Gary Moss, head of EIP Legal, which represented Unwired in its UK case, said: “As well as being a significant decision, and validation for Unwired Planet’s licensing approach, this decision will be of great interest to the telecoms sector in general.”

“Until now there has been a view that even if the infringing party is successfully sued, at the end of the day they would have to pay no more than the royalty rate they would have had to pay anyway, and only for the countries in which they were sued. That gave an incentive for implementers to hold out in the hope of achieving a more favourable royalty rate.”

He added: “Today’s judgement confirms that this need not be the case, and that the English court will take a commercially sensible, ‘real-world’ approach to such issues.”

Meanwhile, in another win for Unwired Planet, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has denied Google’s petition for an en banc rehearing in its covered business method review against Unwired Planet’s patent.

Last year, the Federal Circuit vacated the US Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s final written to decision to invalidate Unwired Planet’s business method patent.

The court ruled that the board’s application of “incidental to” and “complementary to” from a US Patent and Trademark Office policy statement instead of the statutory definition “rendered superfluous” the limits Congress placed on the definition of a covered business method patent.

The America Invents Act describes a CBM patent as “a patent that claims a method or corresponding apparatus for performing data processing or other operations used in practice, administration, or management of a financial product or service, except that the term does not include patents for technological inventions”.

Yesterday (4 April), the Federal Circuit dismissed a rehearing as unnecessary because the en banc court is set to “revisit the scope of an analogous bar on judicial review from inter partes proceedings” in Wi-Fi One v Broadcom Corp.

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