Düsseldorf, November 5, 2018 – The Court of Appeal in London has confirmed an important 2008 decision of the District Court of Düsseldorf regarding the recognition of commensurate licensing of standard essential patents (SEPs). According to this, a worldwide license offer can meet the competition law-based requirements of being made on FRAND terms. In such a case where a worldwide license has been offered, the patent holder is not obliged to make or accept a license offer limited to a country in which a patent infringement action is pending.
SEPs are intellectual property rights that relate to essential technologies without which other companies would not have access to the market. Holders of SEPs with a dominant market position are obliged to license them at fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory rates (so-called FRAND conditions).
The reason for the decision of the London Court of Appeal was the ongoing proceedings between the technology companies Unwired Planet and Huawei. The judgement confirms the practice of large licensing programs and was eagerly awaited by the British side.