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Unwired Planet International Ltd v (1) Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd (2) Huawei Technologies (UK) Co. Ltd

Case Summary  |  Judgment  |   5 April 2017


Adrian Speck QC, Isabel Jamal and Tom Jones appeared for the Claimant, Unwired Planet, and Andrew Lykiardopoulos QC appeared for the Defendant, Huawei, in a landmark action concerning the nature of a patent holder’s obligations to license Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) on Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) terms.

In a much-anticipated judgment, Birss J found (amongst other things) that there is only one set of licence terms which are FRAND in a given set of circumstances and that a patentee insisting upon a worldwide licences for a SEP portfolio can be FRAND. The Judge held that the UK Court can set a royalty rate for a SEP portfolio and calculated an overall global rate for Unwired Planet’s 2G, 3G and 4G SEPs which the Court held to be FRAND as between Unwired Planet and Huawei. The Court also settled certain disputed terms of the licence. The judgment also considers the interplay between the FRAND obligations and competition law.