The UK Supreme Court Judgment in Unwired Planet v Huawei and Conversant v Huawei and ZTE

Global FRAND licensing


This article was first published in the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, Volume 00, Issue 0, 15 July 2021.

Companies holding standard essential patents (SEPs) are required to license those patents at a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) rate. Experts Pat Treacy and Francion Brooks discuss the two separate UK Supreme Court judgments in Unwired Planet v Huawei and Conversant v Huawei and ZTE.

This article will explore:

  • Key findings of the Supreme Court’s judgment with a focus on the central finding that the English courts have jurisdiction, and can properly (without the parties’ agreement): (i) grant an injunction restraining infringement of a UK SEP unless the defendant enters into a global licence under a multinational patent portfolio, (ii) determine the rates and other terms for such a licence, and (iii) declare that such rates and other terms are FRAND
  • Other issues dealt with by the Supreme Court:
    • The proper forum in the circumstances of the Conversant proceedings
    • The meaning and effect of the ‘ND’ component of ‘FRAND’
    • The interpretation of the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Huawei v ZTE
    • The courts’ equitable discretion over injunctive relief in SEP casee

To read the full article, see the Oxford Academic website.

For more information on the work we do, see our SEP/FRAND disputescompetition litigation and competition advice & investigations expertise pages. Click here to track UK SEP/FRAND judgments using our free online database.

Pat Treacy

Francion Brooks


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