Litigating standard-essential patents in England and Wales
Produced in partnership with Luke Maunder and Olivia Henry of Bristows LLP
Litigating standard-essential patents in England and Wales

The following IP guidance note Produced in partnership with Luke Maunder and Olivia Henry of Bristows LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Litigating standard-essential patents in England and Wales
  • Technical standards
  • Essentiality
  • Recent cases before the Courts of England & Wales—Unwired Planet v Huawei, Conversant v Huawei & ZTE, and TQ Delta v ZyXEL
  • FRAND licensing obligations
  • FRAND licence terms
  • Remedies and relief
  • Royalty bases for FRAND
  • Patent pools
  • European Commission Communication on Standard Essential Patents
  • more

This Practice Note focuses on standard-essential patents (SEPs) from the patent litigator’s perspective. It does not seek to provide a detailed analysis of the competition law aspects (in particular Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU))—however, where appropriate, reference is made to the competition policy backdrop to the fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) commitment, including the European Commission Communication on Standard Essential Patents published in November 2017 (the 2017 Commission Communication).

As of exit day (31 January 2020) the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. This has an impact on this Practice Note. For further guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—IP rights.

Technical standards

A technical standard is a specification that identifies certain features of a class of products or procedures. The primary objective of many technical standards is to allow interoperability between components or products manufactured by different entities. The standard defines technical 'rules' which allow, for example, mobile telephone masts from one manufacturer to communicate with mobile handsets from another. The wider standardisation process provides an administrative framework which allows rapid development and deployment of the technology in question with high degrees of competition and interoperability