Lenovo must pay U.S. technology company InterDigital $138.7 million (about 960 million yuan) for licensing the latter’s telecoms patent portfolio, the High Court in London ruled Thursday. This is the latest round of judgments in a long-running dispute between the two parties.
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InterDigital filed a lawsuit against Lenovo in 2019 over a dispute over the licensing terms of patents that are standard-essential for 3G, 4G and 5G. So far, the lawsuit has been tried in five separate trials, focusing on the fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms of InterDigital’s patent licenses.
Judge James Mellor said in a written ruling Thursday that previous offers from Lenovo and InterDigital did not meet the FRAND terms, and that InterDigital had offered Lenovo a six-year patent license for $337 million. Mellor said Lenovo should make a one-time payment of $138.7 million to cover past and future mobile device sales from 2007 to the end of 2023.
Lenovo said the ruling was “a significant victory for the technology industry and the customers we serve. John Mulgrew, Lenovo’s chief intellectual property officer, said in a statement that the decision “reinforces FRAND’s critical role in promoting transparent and fair licensing practices for standardized technologies.
InterDigital Chief Legal Officer Josh Schmidt welcomed the decision’s recognition that “licensees should pay full compensation for past infringements of standard essential patents. However, he said in a statement, “We plan to appeal because we believe that some aspects of the decision do not accurately reflect our licensing program.”
Mark Marfe, a London patent attorney who was not involved in the case, said the ruling reinforces the London High Court’s willingness to grant a worldwide FRAND license. Marfe added that “all eyes will be on the EU Unified Patent Court. This is a common patent court for EU member states that will open in June to see if it will take a similar approach.