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The UK Supreme Court’s judgment in Unwired Planet will have huge ramifications for SEP licensing. Yohan Liyanage of Linklaters unpacks the decision and explains what it will mean for patent owners and implementers alike.
It is commonplace for court decisions to be described as “long-awaited” and “landmark judgments”, but such epithets are undoubtedly appropriate to describe the August 2020 decision of the UK Supreme Court in the cases of Unwired Planet v Huawei and Conversant v Huawei and ZTE.
The judgment is the culmination of proceedings lasting six years in the Unwired Planet case, and confirmation that English courts are entitled to set the terms of a global licence of standard-essential patents (SEPs) on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. This is set to have significant impact on the resolution of telecommunications patent disputes worldwide.
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