Monday, July 11, 2022

Breaking News: Court of Appeal for England and Wales Dismisses Appeal in Nokia v. OPPO FRAND Dispute

Here is a link to the decision in Nokia Technologies Oy & Anor. v. Oneplus Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. & Ors. [2022] EWCA Civ 947 (11 July 2022), opinion by Lord Justice Arnold in which Lord Justices Phillips and Peter Jackson concur.  It is the appeal from Judge Hacon's November 2021 decision denying a motion by OPPO and related companies to dismiss or stay proceedings in England, on forum non conveniens or case management grounds, pending a  decision by a court in Chongqing establishing the terms of a global FRAND license.  (For previous discussion on this blog, see, e.g., here.)  Not surprisingly, the court reaffirms the "FRAND injunction" procedure as per Unwired Planet and Conversant.  There is an extensive discussion of the proper way to characterize the dispute for purposes of a forum non conveniens determination.  The court concludes that the trial court correctly characterized it as a claim to enforce UK patents, which leads to the conclusion that England is the appropriate forum (para. 44).  Alternatively, even if the dispute  were characterized as one over the terms of a global FRAND license--and despite the fact that it the Chinese court would be an alternative forum for such a determination, a matter that was not yet certain in Conversant--this would only lead to the conclusion that "there is no 'natural' forum to determine [the dispute] and none of the factors relied on by the parties," including the fact that OPPO derives most of its revenue from devices sold in China, India, and Indonesia, and only a minuscule amount from the U.K.--"favours one forum over the other" (para. 66).  Finally, the court sees no error in the trial court's decision not to stay the proceeding on case management grounds; in fact, Lord Justice Arnold states that  he "disagree[s] with the [trial court] judge's view that a legitimate juridical advantage which is available to the claimant if the claim proceeds in this jurisdiction is not a reason for a refusing a stay on case management grounds, and therefore I would give weight in this context to the evidence that the Chongqing court would apply Chinese law rather than French law to Nokia's disadvantage" (para. 79).

No comments:

Post a Comment