Huawei edged closer to an injunction on its UK smartphone shipments after a UK court rejected the vendor’s argument a previous licensing decision should not apply to its global shipments.
The UK’s High Court said Huawei’s agreement to pay royalties to US patent holding company Unwired Planet should cover worldwide device shipments rather than those to the UK alone.
Huawei argued the royalty payment should relate to the UK only because the court’s jurisdiction does not extend beyond the country, following a ruling by the court in April.
The vendor was involved in a long running spat with Unwired Planet centred on the use of protected technologies within Huawei smartphones around the world.
If Huawei’s argument regarding the UK court held water, it would have meant Unwired Planet would need to seek injunctions on a country by country basis.
In its latest decision, the UK High Court stated Huawei’s agreement to pay royalties came too late to prevent a judgement affecting its global operations.
“By refusing to offer an unqualified undertaking before trial and before judgment Huawei forced Unwired Planet to come to court and vindicate its rights,” Judge Birss, who presided over the case, said.
Although the court cannot impose a worldwide sales ban, it can prevent Huawei selling handsets in the UK because it failed to meet the terms of the ruling. The injunction is subject to appeal.
The patents in question are considered essential technologies, which Unwired Planet is required to licence under fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. The US company holds a portfolio of thousands of telecommunications-related patents, acquired in part from Ericsson.