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Sony Communications International AB v SSH Communications Security Corp

Case Summary  |  Judgment  |  16 October 2016


 [2016] EWHC 2584 (Pat)

Members of Chambers successfully represented Sony in an action dealing with a patent for network communications.

The patent in suit was owned by SSH, and related to the use of ‘keepalive’ packets of data when exchanging information between private and public networks through a Network Address Translation (NAT) system.

Sony sued for revocation of the patent on the grounds that it was obvious over both common general knowledge and the prior art. SSH applied to amend the patent and counterclaimed for infringement by Sony.

The judge held the relevant claims of the patent were either disclosed or rendered obvious by the prior art: the patent was therefore invalid. The proposed amendments would not cure the finding of invalidity, and were accordingly not allowed.

Although the patent was invalid, the judge further held that, had the relevant claims been valid, they would have been infringed by the Internet Calling functionality of Sony’s Xperia mobile phones.

Andrew Lykiardopoulos QC and James Abrahams QC appeared for the Claimants and Part 20 Defendants.