The United Kingdom’s High Court on Monday ruled that mobile device makers Samsung and Huawei infringed on an LTE standards-essential patent (SEP) held by Unwired Planet, Inc. in the first of five U.K. patent infringement lawsuits brought by the latter party.
Following a two-week trial in October, the court found that Unwired Planet holds a valid patent that is infringed by “wireless telecommunications networks which operate relevant LTE standard, and thus is essential to the LTE standard, known as 3GPP TS 36.322 release 8 version 8.8.0,” Unwired Planet said.
“This is a great result and demonstrates that the hard work behind an invention contributed to this industry standard and deployed in LTE handsets around the world has been recognized as valuable by the UK court,” said Unwired Planet CEO Boris Teksler. “We have no desire to litigate, and we believe that results like this one will minimize the need for further litigation with other potential licensees.”
Samsung and Huawei may still seek permission from the court to appeal the verdict.
Unwired Planet’s remaining patent infringement cases are scheduled to be heard at different dates through the summer of 2016. The company said it is also involved in a sixth trial scheduled for October 2016 that is related to commercial law questions of how to apply “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory,” or “FRAND,” licensing principles to the standards-essential patents. Similar litigation is also underway in Germany, the company said.
“We are on a positive path now in this series of related technical and commercial cases,” Unwired Planet’s general counsel Noah Mesel said. “Going forward, we expect that the six trials will culminate in important contributions to a significant and growing body of law in Europe clarifying how standards-essential patents should be evaluated and licensed, and what ‘FRAND’ really means. This clarity will be immensely valuable to the industry.”