Monday, November 28, 2022

OPPO fends off another Nokia patent lawsuit in Dusseldorf: no infringement

This month has been a pretty good month for OPPO's defenses against Nokia's multijurisdictional onslaught that started almost 17 months ago. An Indian court threw out a Nokia motion to require OPPO to make a deposit, and added insult to injury by calling the motion "fundamentally misconceived." In that blog post I also described the overall situation between the two parties, which is that Nokia's four German patent injunctions (which it can currently enforce) haven't ended the dispute and meanwhile OPPO is making progress elsewhere. The previous month--October--also had some good news for OPPO, with Nokia withdrawing a Mannheim case and a Nokia patent likely to be held invalid by the USPTO and the EPO.

Now I have just found out from the Dusseldorf Regional Court's press office that its 4c Civil Chamber (Presiding Judge: Sabine Klepsch) handed down a final judgment on Friday in case no. 4c O 37/21 over a non-standard-essential Nokia patent, EP2728964 on a "distributed multiradio controller." The complaint was rejected because the judges did not see that OPPO actually infringed that patent. The 4c Civil Chamber had already stayed two Nokia v. OPPO cases in August.

It's not that Nokia hasn't won anything: besides the four German injunctions I mentioned (over five patents, but two of them from the same family), it has also obtained some favorable decisions in the UK and the Netherlands. But OPPO hasn't folded, and probably won't anytime soon.

One change I've recently noticed in the marketplace is that Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile) no longer offers OPPO and OnePlus phones. The injunction binds only OPPO, not resellers, but Deutsche Telekom may have decided not to upset Nokia by importing OPPO and OnePlus phones from neighbor countries in which no injunction is in force. Some other German resellers still carry OPPO and OnePlus phones. It is unclear how big the economic impact of Nokia's injunctions is on OPPO's business, but after all these months it's clear that it's not sufficient to bring about a settlement. Against other defendants, Nokia would already be laughing all the way to the bank. Not so here. This dispute is different.