I have previously reported on litigation between Unwired Planet and Huawei, which has been progressing through the English courts for over 3 years. The case concerned a number of Standards Essential Patents (SEPs), which the High Court held to be valid and infringed. Whilst Huawei were a willing licensee, there was significant dispute over the terms of the licence, which under the telecoms standardization rules must be “Fair Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory” (FRAND). Birss J in the High Court effectively dictated the terms of a FRAND licence, which both parties were required to accept. Huawei appealed that decision.
The Court of Appeal has now upheld the High Court's judgement, noting that only a global licence would be FRAND, at least in this specific case. Also, the Court accepted the concept of a "FRAND injunction", which would apply to Huawei if they did not accept the licence terms set by the Court. We reported and commented on these decisions extensively here and here.
This judgement underlines the need to take care when discussing and negotiating with SEPs. It also further cements the reputation of the English Courts in handling this type of high-value dispute. We are likely to hear much more about SEPs in the coming years.
The judge has found and in our view was entitled to find, that a global licence was FRAND and that UP had not engaged in any abusive behaviour. Huawei had infringed two SEPs and UP was entitled to an injunction to restrain further infringement unless Huawei took the licence he had settled.