The Grand Panel of the Intellectual Property High Court in Tokyo issued three related decisions in the Samsung Apple dispute on Friday. While the official English versions of the decisions are not yet available, sources are reporting that the Grand Panel ruled Samsung could not obtain injunctive relief for Apple’s alleged infringement of a 3GPP standard-essential-patent, but that Samsung could nevertheless collect damages equal to a FRAND royalty. We await the official English versions in order to see the particular rationale and any caveats regarding the injunctive and damages rulings.
The High Court’s decision arises from a review of three patent actions decided by the Japanese lower court, two of which were filed by Samsung seeking injunctive against Apple and the third filed by Apple seeking a ruling that Samsung was not entitled to monetary damages. Each of the three actions involve a single Japanese patent that is alleged to be essential to the 3GPP 3G mobile network standard and subject to FRAND obligations. The lower court ruled that Samsung was not entitled to injunctive relief in either of its suits and concluded in the third suit that Samsung was not entitled to monetary damages due to abuse of its patent rights.
On review, the High Court reportedly affirmed the lower court’s injunction decisions, finding Samsung’s bid for injunctive relief constituted an abuse of rights under Article 1(3) of the Civil Code. However, the High Court appears to have reversed the lower court’s third decision, denying Apple’s absolution from damages and ruling that Samsung would be entitled to damages in an amount equal to a royalty on FRAND terms, which the Court calculated to be ¥ 9,950,000 (<$100,000). Only summaries of the High Court’s decisions were published by the Japanese Grand Panel, though the full rulings and accompanying English translations are expected to be released soon.