Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Will Huawei make European SEP case law history again? It may have brought first SEP complaint with Unified Patent Court (defendant: Netgear)

Potentially, Huawei v. Netgear could become the UPC equivalent of the Huawei v. ZTE ruling by the European Court of Justice. IAM was first to report on the first standard-essential patent (SEP) infringement action to have become discoverable in the Unified Patent Court's (UPC) registry. With a query involving Huawei, I've also been able to find the case details.

The UPC states this week's Monday (July 3) as the date of formal receipt. Apparently there have been other cases where the UPC's registry stated a date of formal receipt that differs significantly from the date of filing.

The patent-in-suit is EP3611989 on a "method and apparatus for transmitting wireless local area network information." Huawei previously asserted WiFi SEPs against Netgear in German courts. This, too, is a WiFi patent. Huawei's counsel is Dr. Tobias Hessel, who recently joined Clifford Chance from Hoyng Rokh Monegier.

Given the UPC's administrative childhood diseases, particularly with a view to its registry, it is not certain that this is the first SEP case to have been filed with the UPC. But at minimum it's the first one to have become discoverable.

The following screenshot shows how dysfunctional the UPC's register is (click on the image to enlarge):

That's a query for all pending infringement actions. It says there are 13 results, but the first results page lists only one case (instead of 9). Huawei v. Netgear is discoverable only if one runs a narrower search.

I also doubt that only 13 infringement cases have been filed with the UPC. A number of patent holders were preparing for the June 1 launch date.

The Munich I Regional Court has confirmed to me that a Huawei v. AVM (AVM is the WiFi router market leader in Germany) case will be heard by the court's 21st Civil Chamber (Presiding Judge: Dr. Georg Werner) on next week's Wednesday (July 12). The case no. is 21 O 2576/22, and the patent-in-suit is EP3337077 on a "wireless local area network information transmission method and apparatus".

Earlier today I shared via an email to those who have subscribed to notifications from this blog the announcement of Huawei's annual IP and innovation event, which will take place in Shenzhen and be webcast on Thursday, July 13.