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The three year-long battle between Huawei, the Chinese phone and telecoms equipment maker, and Unwired Planet, the owner of thousands of former Ericsson patents, has taken another twist in the UK High Court.

Justice Birss has issued a 165-page ruling that has, in principle, granted an injunction against Huawei over patent infringement that could ultimately mean that the company’s phones are pulled from the shelves if a licensing deal cannot be reached.

“Since Unwired Planet have established that Huawei have infringed valid patents…and since Huawei have not been prepared to take a licence on the terms I have found to be FRAND (fair and reasonable), and since Unwired Planet are not in breach of competition law, a final injunction to restrain infringement of these two patents by Huawei should be granted,” the judge ruled.

A formal decision on the injunction will be heard at a separate hearing in a few weeks time after Unwired Planet has drawn up a new set of terms for a worldwide licence that incorporates the ruling.

EIP Legal, which represented Unwired Planet, said that the judge’s ruling would have ramifications over how future patent suits regarding global licensing disputes are heard in national courts.

“The latest judgement, which sets out the basis on which Unwired Planet will be compensated for Huawei’s past infringements, also makes clear that unless Huawei agree to enter into a worldwide licence for Unwired Planet’s patent portfolio, Huawei could be injuncted from selling its mobile telephones in the UK,” it said in a statement.

The ruling did however state that none of four offers made by Unwired Planet to settle the dispute were fair and reasonable.

Huawei, however, argued that it did not expect that the decision would adversely affect its global business operations. A spokesperson said:

Huawei has received the decision of the High Court of England & Wales. We welcome the decision by the Court that Unwired Planet’s royalty rate demands have been found to be unreasonable.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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