0370 270 6000

Standard essential patent – valid and infringed

3 December 2014

The English High Court tackled the thorny issue of the alleged infringement of a ‘standard-essential’ patent, and has found for the patentee.

Vringo Infrastructure Inc owns a patent (originally obtained by Nokia) relating to the process of soft handover of a mobile phone call between base stations when the phone moves between cells. The patent was declared as being essential to a number of 3G telecommunication standards.

The defendant – ZTE (UK) Limited – is a global provider of telecommunications equipment and network solutions. Vringo claimed that some of ZTE’s products infringed.

In a crisp and clear judgment, Birss J (no stranger to disputes of this nature) found that the patent was valid over prior art which included earlier standard related documentation, and infringed. Vringo successfully side-stepped allegations of being a patent troll – a question which the judge found to be prejudicial and irrelevant (where no competition law defence relating to Vringo’s acts was relied on).

So, a victory for Vringo, this decision will give continued encouragement to those holding essential patents to try their luck in the English courts.

Related opinions

The Future of Mediation

In an effort to build a stronger justice system, a shift in priorities has emerged away from adversarial court battles and more towards opportunities for consensual resolution. As one of the most popular forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), mediation has become increasingly encouraged.

View blog

Sequana: Supreme clarification on the duty owed to creditors

The Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed the BTI v Sequana appeal and reviewed the existence, content and engagement of the so-called ‘creditor duty’; being the point at which the interest of creditors is said to intrude upon the decision-making of directors of companies in financial distress.

View blog

IR35 rules to be scrapped from April 2023

The Chancellor’s recent mini-budget provided a significant announcement for business as it was confirmed that the off-payroll working rules (known as “IR35”) put in place for public and private sector businesses from 2017 and 2021 will be scrapped from April 2023.

View blog

Cameras in convenience stores: a potential hornet’s nest..?

A convenience retailer has opted to install cameras (the “Facewatch” system) at a limited number of its English stores to reduce crime and protect its staff.

View blog

Mark Daniels

Mark Daniels

Partner and Head of Business Services

View profile

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up