Sunday, October 1, 2023

USPTO invalidates Nokia patent as per OPPO's PTAB IPR petition: Nokia is appealing parallel decision by European Patent Office

Bring the popcorn. The seemingly neverending, multijurisdictional patent dispute between Nokia and OPPO continues to make news. Earlier this week, I reported on a decision by the European Patent Office (EPO) to uphold an OPPO patent in an amended form, and now let'see how the modified claim language will fare at a Mannheim infringement trial in early December and/or in a preliminary injunction proceeding before the Unified Patent Court (UPC). Now there's news from the U.S., a jurisdiction in which the parties don't have any infringement actions pending against each other, but where the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) instituted an inter partes review (IPR) roughly a year ago relating to U.S. Patent No. 10,701,588 on "methods, apparatuses and computer program product for PDU formatting according to SDU segmentation."

On Thursday, the PTAB granted the petition and held all challenged claims unpatentable:

Guangdong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications Corp., Ltd., v. Nokia Solutions and Networks Oy (IPR2022-00632, Patent 10,701,588 B2): Final Written Decision Determining All Challenged Claims Unpatentable

Nokia can appeal the PTAB decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, just like it also appealed in September a decision made by the Opposition Division of the European Patent Office (EPO) in May, which declared the European equivalent of that patent, EP3395029, invalid. Now that both the USPTO and the EPO have sided with OPPO in the first instance, any appeal seeking to salvage one of those patents is going to be an uphill battle.

It's been 27 months since the previous cross-license agreement between the two expired and Nokia sued without delay. OPPO's resilience is admirable. They're giving one of the very best in-house patent litigation teams out there a run for the money to say the least. It's become clear in recent years that some German judges have an anti-Chinese bias (which is not a conspiracy theory but was evidenced by problematic public statements as well as rather divergent decisions in neutral jurisdictions), without which the situation would look even more favorable to OPPO.