Lenovo asked to pay $138.7 million for inter-digital patents by London court
China’s Lenovo Group is to pay $138.7 million (nearly 1,150 crore rupees) to US tech firm InterDigital to license its portfolio of telecoms patents, the London High Court said on Thursday at the latest turn of a long-standing dispute.
InterDigital filed a lawsuit against Lenovo in 2019 over the terms under which Lenovo should license its patents which are essential to 3G, 4G and 5G standards.
The litigation, which has so far consisted of five separate trials, concerns the fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms of a license for InterDigital’s patents.
Judge James Mellor said in a written decision on Thursday that previous offers made by Lenovo and InterDigital – which had offered $337 million (nearly 3,000 rupees) for a six-year license – had not been made on the terms FRAND.
He said Lenovo would have to pay a “lump sum” of $138.7 million to cover past and future mobile device sales from 2007 through the end of 2023.
Lenovo described the decision as “a major win for the technology industry and the customers we serve.”
John Mulgrew, Lenovo’s chief intellectual property officer, said in a statement that the decision “reinforces FRAND’s essential role in facilitating transparent and fair licensing practices for standardized technologies.”
InterDigital’s chief legal officer, Josh Schmidt, welcomed what he called recognition with the ruling that “a licensee must pay in full for past infringement of standard essential patents.”
However, he said in a statement: “We plan to appeal as we believe certain aspects of the decision do not accurately reflect our licensing program.”
London-based patent lawyer Mark Marfe, who was not involved in the case, said the decision reinforced the High Court’s desire to grant a global FRAND license.
China is the only other jurisdiction where courts have set global FRAND rates for so-called standard essential patents.
Marfe added that “all eyes will be on the Unified Patent Court,” a common patent court for European Union member states that will open in June, to see if it takes a similar approach.
© Thomson Reuters 2023