SEP litigation
November 04 2022
sep litigation
As reported on various outlets such as IAM, FOSS Patents, IPWatchdog, on October 27, 2022, the England and Wales Court of Appeals issued a second instance decision in the Optis v. Apple Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) dispute. According to the Court, an infringing SEP implementer may be subject to injunctions unless it expressly and irrevocably agrees to accept the Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) licensing rate that will later be set by the Court.

This litigation began in 2019, when Optis accused Apple of infringing 8 of its patents, claiming to be essential for the 3G and 4G standards. Three of these SEPs were already found to be infringed by the defendant by UK Courts. In turn, Apple has claimed that it cannot be enjoined, and that it would only decide whether to agree on the Court’s FRAND rate determination, once it was set by the Court, but not in advance.

Apple must now decide whether to accept the Court’s FRAND rate before knowing what it would be, or to bear an injunction that might leave it out of the UK market. This decision creates an important precedent for SEP litigation worldwide, regarding the admissibility of injunctions against infringing implementers who have shown unwillingness to accept a FRAND rate.