Brinkhof secures third consecutive win against Sisvel in Standard Essential Patent offensive
Sisvel is a company that manages its own as well as third party intellectual property rights. Sisvel instigated a pan-European litigation offensive against several manufacturers of mobile phones, with proceedings in the United Kingdom, Italy and the Netherlands. Sisvel alleged infringement of several patents declared to be essential for the implementation of, inter alia, telecommunication standards GSM and LTE.
In two earlier decisions (see Patent proceedings brought by Sisvel against Xiaomi and Brinkhof successfully defends Xiaomi in PI proceedings), the District Court and the Court of Appeal dismissed requests for preliminary injunctions against mobile phone manufacturer Xiaomi (also represented by Brinkhof), based on a balancing of interests.
One of the patents from these preliminary injunction proceedings was also asserted in merits proceedings against manufacturers OPPO and OnePlus. The highly complex patent in suit (EP 1 129 536) concerned an alleged improvement to the error coding mechanisms used in the EGPRS data transfer extension to the GSM standard. Brinkhof was able to convince the court that the Sisvel patent in suit lacks inventive step, by showing that the patented improvement was obvious over a publication from Ericsson from a few months before the filing date of the patent. On 27 May the District Court invalidated the patent, dismissed Sisvel’s infringement claims against OPPO, and ordered Sisvel to reimburse OPPO’s legal fees. The decision (in Dutch) is published at rechtspraak.nl.
The case shows that the Dutch courts remain willing to facilitate intellectual property owners’ interest in a fast merits decision – even in the challenging coronavirus-situation. At the same, the court is not afraid to invalidate a complex patent if it is convinced that it does not add sufficient to the state of the art to warrant patent protection.
Partners Richard Ebbink and Daan de Lange led the case for OPPO and OnePlus, with the technical trial handled by technical specialist Rien Broekstra.