Thursday, June 11, 2020

Sharp's blunt swords: two patents-in-suit against Daimler likely invalid, infringement cases got stayed

Last summer, five Sharp v. Daimler patent infringement cases (two of which were filed in Mannheim, the other three in Munich) became known through a filing in a U.S. Continental v. Avanci case. When the Munich I Regional Corut scheduled a couple of first hearings, I provided an update in September. Now it's time for a catch-up, as a couple of cases have been stayed and the other three are going to trial soon:

  • In its first-filed case against Daimler, Sharp is asserting EP2154903 on a "mobile communication system, base station device, and mobile station device" in Mannheim (case no. 2 O 46/19; complaint filed on 12 April 2019). As per a May 26, 2020 decision, that case has been stayed pending the resolution of a nullity action the infringement court deemed meritorious.

  • In the second Mannheim case (over EP2129181 on a "mobile communication system, base station apparatus and mobile station apparatus"; case no. 2 O 87/19), Sharp had no reasonable alternative to a stipulation to stay. Otherwise the case would have gone to trial later this month.

    So the current score is "two down, three to go."

  • The first Sharp v. Daimler Munich trial has been scheduled for July 23, 2020 (Seventh Civil Chamber; Presiding Judge: Dr. Matthias Zigann). The patent-in-suit is EP2667676 on a "base station device, mobile station device, and uplink synchronization requesting method," and the case no. is 7 O 8818/19. The complaint was brought on June 28, 2019.

    On the same day, the same court will also hold an additional trial in a Nokia v. Daimler case.

  • A couple more Sharp v. Daimler cases will be tried in Munich on November 3, 2020 and the following day (case no. 21 O 8609/19 over EP2854324 on a "communication system and mobile station apparatus" and case no. 21 O 9918/19 over EP2312896 on a "base station device, mobile station device and corresponding communication methods using carrier aggregation").

Sharp is a contributor to the abusive Avanci patent pool that makes supra-FRAND royalty demands and declines to license component makers. It's more of a gang than a pool, and its level of coverage (of the cellular SEP landscape) is far lower than Avanci likes to pretend, as I'll discuss in another post very soon.

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