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Increasing Transparency and Reducing Transaction Costs in 5G SEP Licensing

The advent of 5G promises a new era of speed, throughput and bandwidth for cellular networks, however the world of telecommunications and licensing faces several challenges in preparation for its arrival. Although wireless technology has continued to evolve over the years, traditional SEP licensing models have seemingly been left behind and may no longer be adequate to address the needs of companies seeking to implement 5G into their products. As the Internet of Things becomes an increasingly integral part of products across market areas, more and more companies of all industries and sizes will need to invest in 5G technology to become part of the network. The growing number of players and technology complexity involved with 5G has created an unprecedented need for simpler and more transparent frameworks for licensing, patent pools and standards that can be scaled across diverse market segments. Existing methods require significant investments of time, budget...

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2G or Not 2G: Patent License Applies to Future Generation Wireless Networks

In interpreting a patent license agreement originally drafted in the era of third generation (3G) cellular networks, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found that the license agreement covered subsequent wireless network generations, affirming a district court decision that infringement claims were barred by the license agreement and the doctrine of patent exhaustion. Evolved Wireless, LLC v. HTC Corp., Case Nos. 20-1335, -1337, -1339, -1340, -1363 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 26, 2021) (Dyk, J.) However, the Court vacated-in-part the district court's decision and remanded for findings based on supplemental evidence of the license's termination. In order for cellular wireless networks to work properly, each component within the network must operate according to a shared set of standards. Early generation wireless networks were specific to a particular geographic location. Subsequent “generations" became harmonized according to global standards set by...

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Standard Essentiality Is a Question for the Fact Finder

Affirming a jury verdict of infringement, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit concluded that the question of whether patent claims are essential to all implementations of an industry standard should be resolved by the trier of fact. Godo Kaisha IP Bridge 1 v. TCL Comm. Tech. Holdings Ltd., Case No. 19-2215 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 4, 2020) (O’Malley, J.). IP Bridge owns patents that it contends are essential to the Long-Term Evolution (LTE) standard, and accused TCL of infringing the patents based on the sale of LTE-compliant mobile phones and tablets. Relying on the Federal Circuit’s 2010 decision in Fujitsu Ltd. v. Netgear Inc., IP Bridge presented evidence at trial that (1) the asserted claims are essential to mandatory sections of the LTE standard and (2) the accused products comply with the LTE standard. TCL did not present any evidence to counter that showing. The jury found that TCL was liable for infringement of the asserted claims and awarded...

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