Hogan Lovells’ Standard Essential Patent (SEP) Update reports on recent news and case decisions from jurisdictions including China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. The February 2019 update can be accessed in the following languages:
• English language available here
• Japanese language available here
The February 2019 update covers these developments across the globe:
Global News & Notes
- On 8 January 2019, patent defense organization Unified Patents released an economic report evaluating patents directed to the HEVC / H.265 standard to determine a FRAND royalty.
- Patent pool licensor Sisvel International S.A. and defensive patent aggregator RPX Corporation announced a license agreement to a subset of RPX clients on 10 January 2019.
- The Beijing Intellectual Property Court announced on their official website in late December that a non-public hearing was held to determine if Huawei infringed Samsung Electronics’ Chinese patent CN201080043368.6- titled “Extended Physical Downlink Control Channel.”
- In a Law of 30 July 2018 and a Decree of 11 December 2018 on the protection of trade secrets, France adopted new procedural instruments to protect the confidentiality of the exhibits submitted by the parties in all proceedings before civil and commercial courts.
- The Regional Court of Düsseldorf recently issued rulings in a series of cases filed by members of the MPEG LA patent pool against handset manufacturers relating to patents allegedly essential to the AVC/H.264 standard.
- The Court of Milan issued an interesting decision in a case concerning HTC’s alleged infringement of SEPs owned by IPCom, a German NPE, where it touched upon the dynamics of standard-setting and the definition of essentiality. In particular, departing from earlier Italian case law, the Court of Milan affirmed that some SEPs may be only optionally implemented in standard-compliant products.
The Netherlands Updates
- In Nikon v. ASML, Nikon enforced various patents relating to immersion lithography technology against ASML before the District Court of The Hague. Although immersion lithography is not a standardized technology, ASML alleged that Nikon’s patents were “de facto” essential to its immersion lithography machines and that Nikon would not be entitled to claim injunctions. These arguments were rejected by the District Court of The Hague last year.
- An IP Fast Action Protocol was adopted on in late December to expedite handling of ex parte preliminary injunctions proceedings, in connection with the 25-28 February 2019 Mobile World Congress.
United Kingdom Updates
- On 30 January 2019, the Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in the jurisdiction appeal in Conversant Wireless Licensing S.A.R.L v. Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., ZTE Corporation and Ors  EWCA Civ 38 (on which we have previously reported).
- The Pre-Trial Review (PTR) proceedings in the TQ Delta, LLC v ZyXEL Communications UK Limited & Ors  EWHC 3651 concerning FRAND rate setting was heard just before Christmas in December 2018.
United States Updates
- In a 20 December 2018 decision, published in redacted form on 29 January 2019, Judge Beth Labson Freeman of the Northern District of California denied ASUSTek Computer Inc.’s motion for summary judgment that InterDigital, Inc.’s SEP licensing practices breached InterDigtal’s FRAND obligation.
- Judge Rodney Gilstrap of the Eastern District of Texas ruled on 7 January 2019 that Ericsson’s FRAND obligations do not require it to license its cellular and wireless SEPs based on a cellphone’s smallest salable patent-practicing unit (SSPPU).
- The U.S. Department of Justice filed a status report on 29 January 2019 indicating its intent to file a Statement of Interest in a litigation filed by u-blox AG against InterDigital, Inc. in the Southern District of California.
For more information, please click on the link with the detailed newsletters (in English and in Japanese), or contact partners Paul Brown, Ana Castedo, Dr. Frederick Ch’en, Zhen (Katie) Feng, Giovanni Ghirardi, Joe Raffetto, Stanislas Roux-Vaillard, Dr. Benjamin Schröer and Ruud van der Velden Our full series of all of our Standard Essential Patent Updates (including past updates) can be accessed here.