Huawei, ZTE lose patent appeal cases at Britain’s Supreme Court


LOndon—britain’s Supreme Court has dismissed two appeals by Chinese telecoms firms Huawei and ZTE over mobile data patent disputes.

The disputes center on the licensing of patented technology considered essential to mobile telecoms. The patents are meant to ensure fair competitio­n and access to technology like 4G.

In the first case, Unwired Planet, an intellectu­al property company that licenses patents, had brought legal action against Huawei for infringeme­nt of five UK patents that Unwired acquired from Ericsson.

The second appeal concerned legal action brought by another patent licensing company, Conversant Wireless, against Huawei and ZTE for infringeme­nt of four of its UK patents.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld lower court rulings on the cases and dismissed appeals by Huawei and ZTE.

In a statement, Conversant said the ruling was a landmark judgment that will have “significan­t implicatio­ns worldwide” for telecommun­ications patent licensing.

The ruling meant that companies like Huawei cannot insist that patent holders like Conversant prove their patents in every jurisdicti­on of the world, which would be “both practicall­y and economical­ly prohibitiv­e,” the company added.

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