Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Another Nokia patent case against Daimler practically stayed as patent-in-suit may be invalid

The additional Nokia v. Daimler trial day that the Munich I Regional Court (Landgericht München I) had scheduled for this week's Thursday has been pushed back to February 8, 2021, as I just learned from a spokesman for the court. The court's 7th Civil Chamber (Presiding Judge: Dr. Matthias Zigann) had suggested this postponement to the parties, and Nokia ultimately consented. Daimler had moved for a stay anyway, so it just depended on Nokia. This postponement is practically a stay because the whole reason for it is just that the court would like to await the Federal Patent Court's preliminary opinion on the (in)validity of the patent-in-suit, which is expected to come down in September.

The patent-in-suit is EP1671505 on a "redundancy strategy selection scheme." The original trial took place on February 6 (further to a first hearing held in 2019), but since then there have been various delays, and now that trial is going to continue one year and one day later...

Two other Nokia v. Daimler cases have recently been stayed on a consensual basis (one in Munich, one in Mannheim). In my original blog post on those stays, I prematurely said that this case over EP'505 had been stayed. It hadn't yet, but has by now. Nokia apparently has a huge patent quality problem. While that is good news for Daimler, the automotive industry at large (car makers and suppliers alike) is waiting for a German court to refer the antitrust questions raised by the country's Federal Cartel Office to the Court of Justice of the EU. Technically, however, it's understandable that a court would firstly ascertain whether an asserted patent is valid. If it's not, then the antitrust issues aren't reached in the first place.

There's still going to be an automotive patent trial in Munich on Thursday in one Sharp v. Daimler case. Sharp, unlike Nokia, has meanwhile granted an exhaustive component-level license to Huawei, resolving more than half of the case in economic terms and giving Daimler an option for uninterrupted supply. But other suppliers haven't managed to secure a license from Sharp yet, which is why those infringement cases are going forward, at least for now.

Also, a Nokia v. Daimler trial (case no. 21 O 3891/19 over EP1388234 and the related German patent DE60240446C5 on a "hybrid automatic repeat request (HARQ) scheme with in-sequence deliver of packets") is still scheduled for next week.

Share with other professionals via LinkedIn: