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Conversant Wireless Technologies Sàrl v Huawei Technologies Co Ltd & ors [2019] EWCA Civ 38

The Court of Appeal has handed down judgment in the first case where the UK courts’ jurisdiction has been disputed in a claim for a global FRAND licence for Standard Essential Patents (SEPs). It upheld the judgment of Henry Carr J rejecting the defendants’ jurisdiction challenge and their application for a stay in favour of the Chinese courts. It is thought to be the first case in the world where jurisdiction has been taken in the face of a party’s jurisdictional objection to the court determining the terms of a patent licence on FRAND (fair reasonable and non-discriminatory) terms. It follows the Court of Appeal’s decision in Unwired Planet v Huawei [2018] EWCA Civ 2344 in which, absent a jurisdiction challenge, it was held that such a claim was justiciable. The Defendants are seeking permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.  

Alexander Layton QC, instructed by Allen & Overy LLP, acted for the Huawei defendants, leading Henry Forbes Smith of One Essex Court.

A copy of the judgment is attached.

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