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The Scoop from Europe: Europe Takes On FRAND Licensing—Again

By Patricia Cappuyns and Jozefien Vanherpe

Almost two years ago, on 16 July 2015, Europe’s highest court, the European Court of Justice (CJEU), handed down its much anticipated judgment in the widely publicized Huawei/ZTE saga regarding standards-essential patents (SEPs).1 The question put before the Court was in what circumstances a SEP owner may seek injunctive relief against an alleged patent infringer without violating EU competition law. Instead of painting a crystal-clear picture, the CJEU’s decision left a number of questions unanswered. This resulted in differing national court interpretations. We discuss two long-running FRAND disputes in more detail and focus especially on the recent UK High Court Decision in the Unwired Planet/Huawei case. Furthermore, on 10 April 2017, the European Commission released a roadmap in which it disclosed its aim of establishing a predictable and proportionate framework for FRAND licensing of SEPs.

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