Major conclusion to telecoms IP case

Intellectual property (IP) cases have been won by Unwired Planet and Conversant Wireless following the dismissal of appeals made by Huawei and ZTE. Both cases, Unwired Planet v Huawei and Conversant Wireless v Huawei and ZTE, were being heard jointly before the Supreme Court in October 2019 and concerned patent licensing considered “essential to the international standards for 2G, 3G and 4G mobile telecommunications”, namely Standard Essential Patents (SEPs). Additionally, Apple, Ericsson and Qualcomm were allowed to intervene in the appeals. The Supreme Court’s ruling upheld decisions made previously by the High Court and Court of appeal which state that UK courts possess the authority to compel a company which intends to implement standard technology within the UK, to enter a worldwide portfolio licence of a patent holder’s Standard Essential Patents. Following this decision, Huawei will be required to obtain a licence from Unwired Planet as for failure to do so it will risk an injunction against further activities within the UK. Unwired Planet is open to working with other manufacturers to provide patent licenses under the global FRAND framework and the timely conclusion of negotiations.