The Chinese networking and telecommunications equipment company Huawei technologies (ranked second in a list of the top 10 PCT patent applicants for 2016) was recently subject to the UK’s first ever patent infringement fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) injunction. A FRAND injunction is granted to a defendant who is unwilling to enter into a FRAND licence.
The lawsuit between Huawei and UPI has been going on for more than three years and this court decision is the latest development. The UK High Court ruled that Huawei must pay licensing fees to use patents related to 4G technologies in its devices from US software company Unwired Planet International (UPI) that now owns the patents. If Huawei refuses to do this it will face a sales ban in the UK. The FRAND injunction would stop automatically if Huawei agrees to enter into a FRAND licencing agreement with UPI.
It is possible that Huawei cold try to appeal the court ruling but commentators believe it is more likely that the company will try to reach a settlement agreement with UPI.
Huawei opened its first office in the UK in 2001 and from that date onwards has continually increased investment within the country meaning that the UK is an important country to Huawei. Huawei issued a statement that the UK court’s decision would not adversely affect its business operations in the UK or in other countries.