The Unwired Planet case – a year on

Last year the UK Supreme Court upheld Mr Justice Birss’ now famous decision in the Unwired Planet case. The Supreme Court’s decision has cemented the UK’s position as a key jurisdiction for FRAND disputes to be decided and opened the door for many more such cases to be heard in the UK. In an article … Read more

Views on an evolving automotive industry – The importance of a clear IP strategy

Our latest intellectual property related briefing in the HSF "Views on an evolving automotive industry" series, concentrates on the importance of a clear IP strategy for automotive sector businesses. It considers the necessary elements of a successful IP strategy and the heightened importance of such a strategy in the context of an industry where new systems and technologies are taking centre stage. Read more

UK IPO Consultation on the UK’s future exhaustion of IP rights regime

The UK Intellectual Property Office has published a consultation on the UK's exhaustion of intellectual property rights regime and what changes might be appropriate post-Brexit, including how such changes should be implemented. The consultation runs for 12 weeks until 31 August 2021. Here we outline the principles behind the different types of exhaustion regime, and summarise the options proposed by the consultation, highlighting the issues associated with each. Read more

High Court finds clause imposing harsh consequences for breach of term aimed at protecting IP rights was not an unenforceable penalty

In a recent decision, the High Court has found that a clause in a settlement agreement which was aimed at protecting a business’s IP rights was not penal, despite imposing “undoubtedly extremely harsh” consequences for breach of certain obligations in a settlement agreement. Under the clause, the relevant party would cease to receive any payment … Read more

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement and its impact on IP, Pharma and Medical Devices

The final Brexit agreement, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement was agreed between the UK and the EU on 24 December 2020. Within this agreement are provisions that set out the standards expected to be recognised (mutually) between the EU and the UK in relation to intellectual property (including SPCs and trade secrets). There are some provisions concerning pharmaceutical regulation and product standards, but overall there is a lack of mutual recognition, with the consequence that, for both pharmaceuticals and medical devices, there are now effectively two separate regimes for the EU and the UK. Read more

The European Commission considers the future of health in Europe with new Pharmaceutical Strategy and Action Plan on IP

The European Commission has this week published a wide-ranging and ambitious Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe, and an Action Plan on Intellectual Property. Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe The new pharmaceutical strategy for Europe is a key pillar of the European Health Union, which President von der Leyen called for in her 2020 State of the Union … Read more

Jurisdictional tussling: the UK is open for business on FRAND

The recent Supreme Court decision in Unwired Planet v Huawei answered many important questions about the UK court’s approach to FRAND disputes. However, it also left areas of uncertainty, particularly on the issue of jurisdiction. The High Court decision in Philips v TCL ([2020] EWHC 2553 (Ch)), handed down around a month after the Supreme Court’s judgment, confirms that the UK will take an expansive approach to its jurisdiction to determine FRAND licence terms. Read more

FRAND patent licensing: Supreme Court stays the course

Andrew Moir and David Webb have today published an article about the recent Supreme Court FRAND decision in Unwired Planet in PLC Magazine. This article first appeared in the October 2020 issue of PLC Magazine. The article analyses the Supreme Court’s judgment, which provides welcome guidance on the UK’s approach to FRAND licensing, much of … Read more

UK Supreme Court stays the course in Unwired Planet and Conversant – confirming the approach to FRAND adopted by the lower courts

On 26 August 2020 the UK Supreme Court handed down judgment in Unwired Planet v Huawei [2018] EWCA Civ 2344 (the “Unwired Planet Appeal”) and Conversant v Huawei and ZTE [2019] EWCA Civ 38 (the “Conversant Appeal”). The Unwired Planet Appeal concerned the courts’ jurisdiction to determine global FRAND (Fair, Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory) licence terms, the … Read more