Hogan Lovells Celebrates ECJ Referral for ZTE in Huawei Patent Battle
22 March 2013
LONDON, 22 MARCH 2013 - Hogan Lovells has succeeded in gaining a referral to ECJ on behalf of its client ZTE, following its long-running patent battle against telecoms operator Huawei.
This week the Düsseldorf Landgericht (Regional Court) referred a number of questions, regarding specific FRAND (Fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) licensing criteria, to the Court of Justice for the European Union on behalf of ZTE.
This is significant because, if the ECJ decide in favour of ZTE, Huawei’s claims for injunctive relief against the sales of Long Term Evolution (LTE) base states – a 4G wireless broadband technology - by ZTE in Germany could be unfounded.
Hogan Lovells client ZTE, a leading Chinese manufacturer of telecom equipment, has been battling with Huawei in European and Chinese courts over their respective intellectual property rights portfolio for LTE infrastructure, core networks and terminals.
On Friday, (15 March 2013), the court in Mannheim, Germany, partly dismissed another action by Huawei over a key derivation function patent, which is used to generate security keys in 4G wireless LTE networks in so far as mobile terminals are concerned; however, the court granted Huawei's claims with regard to a specific software implementation in base stations. ZTE is planning to appeal the decision.
Hogan Lovells partner Martin Fähndrich said:
“ZTE is delighted that the Dusseldorf court has entertained its view that German law as it currently stands may not be in line with EU law. In the interest of fair competition the different approaches to FRAND licensing in the EU require clarification and consolidation".
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