Friday, March 18, 2022

Ericsson, Apple agree on former Eastern District of Texas Chief Judge David Folsom for mediation of 5G patent licensing dispute

This may be one of my shortest blog posts ever, but I have two pieces of news to share regarding the Ericsson v. Apple 5G patent licensing dispute:

  • I'm not aware of what exactly Chief Judge Rodney Gilstrap said at the Wednesday case management conference, but a docket entry states that he has decided to consolidate Apple's and Ericsson's dueling FRAND cases for the purpose of pretrial proceedings. The cases are scheduled to go to trial in June and July 2023. Either party still wants at least parts of the other party's complaint dismissed, and Apple is still fighting hard to give the Federal Circuit--not the Fifth Circuit--appellate jurisdiction.

  • Judge Gilstrap gave the parties a few days to agree on a mediator. Otherwise he'd have appointed one, but no need for that: Apple and Ericsson almost promptly agreed to appoint a predecessor of Judge Gilstrap as Chief Judge of the Eastern District of Texas, David Folsom, as their mediator. Judge Folsom retired from the bench in 2012 and is now a Jackson Walker partner and based in Texarkana (the one on the Texan side of the state border).

    Court-ordered mediation rarely results in settlements of such high-stakes global disputes. Those cases do get settled, but what drives settlements of that kind is usually not that a judge referred the parties to mediation. That's why no one should expect a miracle from former Chief Judge Folsom. Maybe he can get them to agree at least on how to structure their two overlapping actions in the Eastern District.

Last week I published an overview of the key deadlines in the three Ericsson v. Apple ITC cases, the first one of which is presently scheduled to go to trial (called "evidentiary hearing") in the first half of November. I previously listed various German Ericsson-Apple hearing and trial dates. I haven't yet found out about when certain courts in Brazil and the Netherlands will hear Ericsson's preliminary injunction motions.

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