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Unwired Planet International Ltd. v. Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.
High Court of Justice, Chancery Division
Case No. HP-2014-000005 (2017)
Unwired Planet International Ltd. (Unwired) (plaintiff) had a patent portfolio that included numerous patents declared essential to various telecommunications standards. Unwired’s business was in licensing those patents to companies that made and sold telecommunications equipment. The relevant governing body required that patents like Unwired’s be licensed on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) grounds. Unwired Planet sued Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd (Huawei) (defendant) for infringement of several of its patents. The parties disagreed on a number of issues, including the proper FRAND royalty rate. Both parties made offers regarding the licensing of Unwired’s patents. Both sides argued that their offers constituted FRAND terms. Unwired contended that it made offers of a license to Huawei on FRAND grounds. Unwired argued that if each side made a FRAND offer then the patentee’s offer should win. Unwired reasoned that by making a FRAND offer, a patentee discharges its obligations. Thus, Unwired claimed that if Huawei was unwilling to accept Unwired’s terms, the court should issue an injunction preventing Huawei from using Unwired’s patents. Huawei contended that if each side submitted a FRAND offer, then the implementer should win and the injunction should be refused. Huawei argued that the FRAND system was for the benefit of implementers in order to allow them access to the patented technology. The case was brought before the English High Court of justice.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Birss, J.)
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