London Court of Appeal makes decision in case of Unwired Planet v. Huawei

The Court of Appeal in London has confirmed an important decision of the District Court of Düsseldorf in 2008 regarding the recognition of an appropriate licensing of standard essential patents (SEP). According to this, a license offer with worldwide coverage can meet the antitrust law-based requirement for FRAND conditions. In such a case, the patent holder is not obliged to make or accept a license offer limited to the country in which a patent infringement action is pending.

SEPs are intellectual property rights that relate to essential technologies without which other companies would not have access to the market. Holders of SEPs with a dominant market position are obliged to license them at fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory rates (so-called FRAND conditions).

The reason for the decision of the London Court of Appeal was the ongoing proceedings between the technology companies Unwired Planet and Huawei. The ruling confirms the practice of large licensing programs and was eagerly awaited by the British side.