Sunday, February 26, 2023

Nokia asserting patents against high-volume smartphone maker Vivo in five countries (China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Germany) but no resolution in sight

In the previous post, I reported on a half-dozen of Datang v. Samsung patent infringement lawsuits that are pending in China. I've also obtained information about some other wireless patent enforcement activity in China. This here is a follow-up on Nokia v. Vivo, which is overdue as it's been almost ten months since I last reported on that dispute:


Nokia filed a patent infringement lawsuit with the Jinan Intermediate People's Court in April 2022.

Vivo countersued Nokia in March 2022 in the Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court over one of its own patents.

Vivo furthermore (also in March 2022) asked the Chongqing First Intermedia People's Court for a FRAND determination. In Chongqing, a rate-setting case brought by OPPO against Nokia is already at an advanced stage. The findings made in that one could have a bearing on the later-filed Vivo case.

Not only Nokia is suing Vivo in China, but so is a Chinese company: ZTE (in Guangzhou and Xi'an).

According to Chinese reports, various decisions by China's patent office (SIPO) came down last week. Vivo is known to have challenged at least a dozen Nokia patents in China, and the result of the five revocation actions that have been adjudicated so far is that two Nokia patents were invalidated in their entirety, one was invalidated in part, and two were upheld. A ZTE patent challenged by Vivo (ZL201210363485.1) has also been declared partly invalid.

In the Chinese market, Vivo now sells more smartphones per year than any other Chinese company. That makes China a particularly important jurisdiction for any patent dispute with Vivo.


Delhi High Court records show that two Nokia v. Vivo patent infringement actions are pending there. I hope to find out the details beyond what I reported last year.


One of two Nokia v. Vivo cases pending before the Central Jakarta District Court was already known last year. There appears to be a second case (case no. 31/Pdt.Sus-HKI/Paten/2022/PN Niaga Jkt.Pst).


Nokia is asserting two standard-essential patents (MY-152424-A and MY-151522-A) in the High Court of Malaysia.


Last year I listed six German Nokia v. Vivo cases: three in Mannheim, two in Munich, and one in Dusseldorf. There was a hearing or trial of the two Munich cases on February 8. The Mannheim court held a Nokia v. Vivo trial on February 7 (case no. 2 O 36/22 over the SEP that won Nokia a Mannheim injunction against OPPO last year and case no. 2 O 65/22 over a patent from the same family). On March 14, a Mannheim trial in case no. 2 O 37/22 will be held.

While Vivo has also made some inroads into markets like Germany, there already is a precedent of a company leaving the German market after some patent injunctions: OPPO. For Vivo it would presumably make even less sense to remain on the German market.

I'll try to find out more about the next steps in Germany, particularly ruling dates.