California FRAND Ruling Deprived Ericsson of Right to Jury Trial, Holds Federal Circuit
The Federal Circuit has reversed and remanded a notable ruling on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) patent licensing in TCL v. Ericsson. In a December 5 opinion, the appeals court overturned a Central District of California decision that offers made by Ericsson to mobile device maker TCL had purportedly not been FRAND and that set the terms of a FRAND license. That lower court decision, held the Federal Circuit, had deprived Ericsson of its constitutional right to a jury trial by deciding a key license term from the bench. As a result, the Federal Circuit declined to revisit the district court’s underlying FRAND analysis. The overturned decision is just the fourth US ruling in which a court has determined a FRAND rate for a portfolio of standard essential patents (SEPs).