Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Nokia-fed Avanci-aligned patent troll Conversant asserting two patents against Tesla in Mannheim: same patents in use against Daimler in Munich

It already became known in late April that Conversant Wireless, a patent troll that obtained patents from Nokia a while ago and contributes to the abusive Avanci patent pool, is suing Tesla in the Western District of Texas as well as in Mannheim, Germany. Meanwhile the Mannheim Regional Court's press office has thankfully been able to provide me with details on the two German Conversant v. Tesla cases:

  • The patent-in-suit in case no. 2 O 27/20 is EP2934050 on an "apparatus and method for providing a connection."

  • The patent-in-suit in case no. 2 O 57/20 is EP3300421 on a "slow mac-e for autonomous transmission in high speed uplink packet access (hsupa) along with service specific transmission time control."

Those two patents are among the ones Conversant is asserting agaist Daimler in Munich.

The two German Conversant v. Tesla cases are going to be adjudicated by the Mannheim Regional Court's Second Civil Chamber (Presiding Judge: Dr. Holger Kircher). From a FRAND perspective, the assignment of those cases to that particular division of the court is unfavorable to Tesla, given that the Second Civil Chamber--though it made a key adjustment--interprets the Court of Justice of the EU's Huawei v. ZTE ruling to the effect that an implementer's FRAND counteroffer is analyzed first, irrespectively of the fact that it (chrono)logically comes second and is merely meant to ensure a defendant won't employ unreasonable delaying tactics.

Another Avanci-aligned patent troll, Sisvel, recently stepped up its patent assertion campaign against Tesla.

The steady stream of new standard-essential patent (SEP) assertions against car makers is the result of regulatory authorites such as the European Commission having been indecisive regarding SEP abuse in an automotive context for too long. It's high time something happened in Brussels and/or elsewhere. And it still might.

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