Brinkhof secures next victory in Standard Essential Patent litigation

6 November 2020

Last Wednesday, the District Court The Hague rendered a decision in a standard essential patent dispute between Luxembourg-based licensing firm Sisvel, and China-based smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi.

The case is part of a pan-European litigation offensive instigated by Sisvel against various smartphone manufacturers. The offensive so far had been unsuccessful for Sisvel in the Netherlands, with Brinkhof averting two preliminary injunctions against Xiaomi, and invalidating Sisvel’s EP 536 patent in merits proceedings for smartphone manufacturers OPPO and OnePlus.

In this week’s decision, Brinkhof claims a fourth consecutive win in defending against this offensive. Sisvel asserted that its EP 272 patent was essential to the 4G/LTE standard for mobile telephony, and claimed that any devices implementing the LTE standard would necessarily infringe this patent. The Court did not agree. It observed that the architecture of the LTE standard was different from the architecture in the (much older) patent, and that certain interactions claimed in the patent did not take place in LTE. The Court therefore ruled that the patent was non-essential and that the relevant LTE phones do not infringe. The validity of the patent therefore did not need to be assessed. The decision (in Dutch) is published here.

The result underscores that litigants in standard essential and other highly complex patent disputes are in good hands with Brinkhof’s dedicated electronics patent litigation team. Partners Richard Ebbink and Daan de Lange lead the team acting for Xiaomi, with telecommunications specialist Rien Broekstra in charge of the technical trials.