Apple Seeks Judgment That Gilstrap Cannot Make FRAND Compliance Determination for PanOptis Global License Offer

May 31, 2019

Over the past year, District Judge Rodney Gilstrap has dealt a series of setbacks to three subsidiaries of PanOptis Holdings, LLCOptis Cellular Technology LLC; Optis Wireless Technology, LLC; and PanOptis Patent Management, LLC (collectively, PanOptis)—in their litigation asserting certain standard essential patents (SEPs). Last August, Judge Gilstrap ruled that PanOptis could not seek a declaratory judgment that its global license offer to Huawei, involving patents from various jurisdictions, had been fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory (FRAND), ruling that the NPE could only request such a judgment for its US patents. In March of this year, Judge Gilstrap also denied PanOptis’s request as to the US patents alone, holding that the record—reflecting license terms that did not give Huawei the option of a US-only license—lacked any evidence that would allow the court to rule on a US-only FRAND license. Apple has now made a similar set of arguments in a recently filed PanOptis lawsuit, asking that Judge Gilstrap dismiss the NPE’s claim seeking a declaratory judgment that global licensing offers made to Apple were FRAND for some of the same reasons cited by the court in March.

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