From IAM: Jacob Schindler | January 11, 2018
The Intermediate People’s Court in Shenzhen has handed down the latest milestone Chinese FRAND decision, with local telecom Huawei earning an SEP injunction as part of its wide-ranging assertion campaign against Samsung Electronics.
The decision was announced by an official social media channel of the court today. The short notice describes the ruling as the first SEP injunction to be issued in China on the basis of an “international” SEP. The Beijing IP Court previously granted an injunctionagainst Sony back in March 2017, but the standard at issue there was WAPI, a seldom-used protocol which is only implemented in China.
The two patents asserted by Huawei in Shenzhen on May 25th, 2016 were: 201110269715.3 (“Transmission control signaling method and apparatus”) and 201010137731.2 (Method for feeding acknowledgement [ACK]/negative acknowledgement [NACK] back during carrier aggregation, base station and user equipment”). Both are declared as essential to the 4G standard. During an 18-day trial, each party accused the other of violating its FRAND obligations in cross-licence talks that have apparently been going on since 2011.
The court’s full decision has not been published yet, and I am relying on a machine translation of the court’s brief summary. However, a few of the court’s key findings have been made reasonably clear:
- Huawei’s patents were both found to be essential to the 4G standard
- Samsung produced and sold 4G capable terminal products in China, infringing Huawei’s patent rights
- During six years of cross-licence negotiations, Huawei made no obvious breach of the FRAND principle. On the other hand, Samsung made obvious breaches of FRAND in both procedure and substance
- While Huawei sought to resolve the dispute through negotiation and arbitration, Samsung “maliciously delayed talks” in a way that runs counter to the FRAND principle
- In view of all this, the court has granted Huawei’s injunction request