Monday, April 10, 2017

Commentary on Recent Chinese and English FRAND Cases

1.  David Shen and Jill Ge have published a short article titled IWNCOMM v. Sony:  First SEP-Based Injunction Granted in China in an Allen & Overy newsletter.  Here is a link to the article, and here is the abstract:
The Beijing IP Court recently handed down a landmark decision concerning infringement of a standard essential patent (SEP) in the Iwncomm v. Sony case. The court found that Sony had infringed a SEP relating to a national standard. The court ordered a permanent injunction, along with damages of close to RMB 9 million for past infringement. This is believed to be the first SEP-based injunction granted in China. The Sony case is also the first major court decision in the telecom space since Huawei v. InterDigital.
The authors' discussion of the court's calculation of damages for the single patent at issue--equal to three times the rate agreed to in four other portfolio licenses--is particularly interesting.  

For previous discussion of this case on this blog, including links to the decision itself and to an abridged translation into English, see here, here, here, here, and here.

2.  Jorge Contreras has posted a short paper on ssrn titled A New Perspective on FRAND Royalties: Unwired Planet v. Huawei.  Here is a link to the paper, and here is the abstract:
In Unwired Planet v. Huawei, Judge Colin Birss of the UK High Court of Justice (Patents) has issued a detailed and illuminating opinion regarding the assessment of royalties on standards-essential patents (SEPs) that are subject to FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) licensing commitments. Among the important and potentially controversial rulings in the case are (1) there is but a single FRAND royalty rate applicable to any given set of SEPs and circumstances, (2) neither a breach of contract nor a competition claim for abuse of dominance will succeed unless a SEP holder’s offer is significantly above the true FRAND rate, (3) FRAND licenses for global market players are necessarily global licenses and should not be limited to a single jurisdiction, and (4) the “non-discrimination” (ND) prong of the FRAND commitment does not imply a “hard-edged” test in which a licensee may challenge the FRAND license that it has been granted on the basis that another similarly situated licensee has been granted a lower rate, so long as the difference does not distort competition between the two licensees. 
I mentioned and provided a link to this opinion last week (here).  I'm hoping to post my own take on the opinion sometime soon, though probably not until later this week or next week. 

3.  The EPLaw Patent Blog also has a post about Unwired Planet, consisting of concluding paragraphs 806 and 807 of Justice Birss's opinion. 

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