UK Appeals Court Upholds Global SEP License in Unwired Planet v. Huawei but Rejects Rigid FRAND Standard

October 26, 2018

The UK Court of Appeal has upheld last year’s ruling, by Justice Colin Birss of the High Court of Justice, that a global license was appropriate in a long-running standard essential patent (SEP) licensing dispute between Unwired Planet International Limited and Huawei. However, the court rejected Justice Birss’s controversial rule that there can be only one fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) rate for a particular set of parties and circumstances, holding that any number of sets of terms can be fair and reasonable for a given dispute in light of the inherent complexity of SEP licensing and the factors at play in such negotiations. The affirmed opinion was the UK’s first ruling on FRAND licensing and led to the imposition of the country’s first FRAND injunction.

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