The ever-increasing importance of inter-operability and standardisation has been reflected in a surge in litigation of Standard Essential Patents and FRAND issues. The UK jurisdiction has taken a leading position with its willingness to provide a global solution.
With its leading high-tech patent litigation and competition law practices, and over a decade’s experience in leading cases, Bristows is uniquely placed to advise both patent owners and implementers alike.
SEP/FRAND disputes require a particular type of expertise possessed by only a very few firms globally. At Bristows, five partners and a group of specialist associates within the Patent Litigation group work seamlessly with two partners and their associates in the Competition Law group to provide a bespoke service which is second to none.
In an area where forum shopping is of critical importance, our expertise naturally extends to the jurisdictional and international coordination aspects of the subject. Our market-leading patent litigation practice, with numerous physicists, engineers and computer scientists, can deal with the most complex technology, be it in telecoms, automotive or other sectors. Our competition team, with its deep understanding of the economic and commercial realities of licensing can frame the best possible case for an appropriate FRAND licence, whether that case needs to be made in court, before an arbitral panel, or a competition regulator.
Bristows’ clients, whether they are patentees, implementers or patent pools, trust the combined team to really ‘get’ the issues in this complex and fast-moving field.
We are familiar with many ETSI, IEEE, ITU and other standards, and the patent litigators understand the particular issues arising in the litigation of standard essential standards, such as identification of working group proposals which may form part of the prior art. The competition team understands how FRAND licences are negotiated in practice, and common issues such as hold-up / hold out, royalty stacking and privateering, as well as advising on compliance with the Huawei v ZTE CJEU regime both before and during litigation.