Recent years have seen an explosion of patent litigation across Europe in the telecommunications sector. Much of the litigation has concerned Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) and the impact on licence negotiation and litigation remedies of a SEP holder’s obligation to license its SEPs on Fair and Reasonable Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) terms. Until recently the European courts have not grappled with the central issue of how FRAND translates into commercial terms, such as royalty rates and licence scope. However, in his recent judgment in Unwired Planet v Huawei  EWHC 711 Mr Justice Birss was willing to do exactly that, as well as set out the principles to be used when doing so and the remedies available to a party when the other refuses to agree to court-determined FRAND terms. In so doing, has the UK now become the “go-to” jurisdiction for resolving SEP licensing disputes?
- Provided an overview of the key points arising out of the judgement in Unwired Planet v Huawei;
- Considered the extent to which competition law is still relevant to the issues that arise in SEP negotiations; and
- Discussed the practical effect of the judgment on the conduct of SEP licence negotiations and litigation, from pre-action conduct through to the remedies that the court will be willing to grant.
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