LESI: The FRAND saga continues


Patricia Cappuyns

LESI: The FRAND saga continues


The CJEU’s judgment on the AG’s non-binding opinion in Huawei v ZTE is expected this week and will expand on the meaning of FRAND terms, as Patricia Cappuyns of the Licensing Executives Society International (LESI) reports.

On November 20, 2014, Advocate General (AG) Melchior Wathelet at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) gave his eagerly awaited opinion in Huawei v ZTE about the proper way to conduct fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing negotiations.

Some industries, most notably telecoms, are heavily standardised. Since all the components of a complex technological system must work together, every manufacturer of every component must comply with the same technical requirements.

Many of the technologies that find their way into a technical standard are protected by a patent. A large number of these patents are technically essential to a standard. Put simply (although some qualifications do apply), standard-essential patents (SEPs) are those whose use cannot be avoided by a company that wishes to produce a standard-compliant product.

FRAND, Huawei v ZTE, SEPs. Samsung, Motorola, CJEU, patent licensing