Law firm Osborne Clarke LLP, co-counsel for Unwired Planet, today secured a significant decision on behalf of its client. The Court of Appeal has upheld the first instance judgment of Mr Justice Birss in a case concerning the way in which patented technology essential to telecommunication standards (e.g. 3G-UMTS, 4G-LTE) is licensed to mobile phone manufacturers ('implementers'). Such patents are called Standard Essential Patents or 'SEPs'.

Global licensing of SEPs is FRAND

The judgment stated that global licensing of SEPs is FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) and aligns with how such licensing takes place across the industry. The Court of Appeal also held that FRAND obligations can be met if a SEP owner offers a worldwide licence; however should the implementer refuse to take such a licence, it could be subject to an injunction to prevent continued patent infringement in the UK.

The Court of Appeal also upheld Birss J on issues relating to competition law.

The decision may be subject to a further appeal to the Supreme Court.

"We are delighted by the outcome of the appeal"

Quote from Arty Rajendra, Partner at Osborne Clarke and co-counsel for Unwired Planet.

"We are delighted by the outcome of the appeal,” said Arty Rajendra, Partner at Osborne Clarke and co-counsel for Unwired Planet.

“The Court of Appeal judgment sets out a blueprint for how standard essential patents should be licensed to implementers and confirms that a global licence is FRAND. This judgment takes a pragmatic approach. It will help to enable efficient licensing discussions for both licensees and global patent holders."

Osborne Clarke’s international IP team act for leading consumer, retail, technology and media companies. They regularly manage high-value and business-critical IP litigation, providing advice on everything from brand management and enforcement to Standard Essential Patents and FRAND licensing.

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