The Northern District of California recently granted judgment on the pleadings in favor of patent-plaintiff ChriMar Systems, Inc. on antitrust and state law unfair competition counterclaims filed by accused infringers Cisco and Hewlett-Packard (HP).  According to the court, the crux of Cisco’s and HP’s counterclaims alleged that ChriMar failed to disclose and commit to license

Yesterday, the Second Circuit in Lotus v. Hon Hai Precision affirmed the district court’s dismissal of antitrust and breach of contract claims arising from foreign activity based on the patent owner not licensing, but asserting in litigation in China, patents subject to FRAND-Z (i.e., royalty free) standard setting obligations.  Consistent with the U.S. Federal Trade

SanDisk brought suit against Round Rock Research in the District of Delaware last week, alleging that the patent assertion entity’s acquisition and enforcement of standard essential patents previously held by Micron Technology has violated federal and state antitrust laws and breached contractual commitments to license the patents on RAND terms. The action, Sandisk Corporation v.

In an order dated January 16, 2014, the Competition Commission of India (“CCI”) ordered another investigation into Ericsson’s licensing of cellular patents that are subject to FRAND obligations, which investigation will parallel a similar investigation of Ericsson that CCI ordered on November 12, 2013 (discussed in our prior post).  The rationale for this

A few weeks ago, we posted about ViewSonic’s FRAND-related counterclaims against Zenith, Panasonic and Philips (collectively, “Manufacturing Plaintiffs”), as well as its FRAND-related Third-Party claim against MPEG LA.  On Monday, December 16, the Manufacturing Plaintiffs and third-party MPEG LA filed a motion to dismiss with prejudice ViewSonic’s FRAND-related counterclaims for failure to state a claim

A few months ago, we posted about patent infringement suits filed by Zenith Electronics (“Zenith”), Panasonic Corporation (“Panasonic”), U.S. Philips Corporation (“Philips”) and The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York (“Columbia”), licensors to the MPEG LA Advanced Television Systems Committee (“ATSC”) digital television patent pool, against electronics makers Curtis International (“Curtis”),

Yesterday the European Commission started soliciting public comments on Samsung’s proposed commitment that, during the next five years, Samsung would not seek injunctive relief within the European Economic Area (EEA) on standard essential patents (SEPs) in the field of mobile communications against companies that agree to a particular framework for determining fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory

Today, we attended a hearing held on Capitol Hill by the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights regarding standard-essential patents.  The hearing, titled “Standard Essential Patent Disputes and Antitrust Law,” featured testimony from four witnesses from diverse SEP-related backgrounds.

Last week, we noted that the Federal Circuit will hold a September 11 oral argument in Apple and Motorola’s appeals of Judge Posner’s June 2012 decision to dismiss the parties’ competing infringement suits.  The “Posner appeal” will provide the Federal Circuit with the opportunity to weigh in on SEP issues in a patent infringement context, such as how the FRAND framework may constrain damages, and whether a party with a FRAND commitment can ever satisfy the eBay standard for an injunction.  But this appeal is not the only one involving Apple, Motorola, and FRAND/SEP issues that is pending before the Federal Circuit.

Also last week, Apple filed its opening brief in this other Federal Circuit appeal — the appeal of Judge Barbara Crabb’s November 2012 decision to dismiss Apple’s FRAND-related breach of contract suit on the eve of trial (after, at least in Judge Crabb’s eyes, Apple failed to commit to entering into a FRAND license at the rate she might set — see this link for a brief refresher on the details of this particular case).  The case before Judge Crabb (and consequently, this appeal) is more like Microsoft’s original complaint in the Microsoft-Motorola case, as opposed to the case before Judge Posner — there are no infringement claims, only claims brought by Apple that relate to Motorola’s alleged violation of its FRAND commitments (breach of contract, antitrust, etc.).  Apple frames the issues in this appeal as follows:

  1. Apple provided evidence that Motorola violated § 2 of the Sherman Act by making deceptive FRAND commitments and by failing to timely disclose its intellectual property. The Noerr-Pennington doctrine immunizes a party from antitrust liability only where the challenged conduct is the petitioning of a government entity. Did the district court err in holding that Apple’s antitrust claim was barred by the Noerr-Pennington doctrine?
  2. Apple would not commit to accept a license offer from Motorola without knowing the price. Did the district court err by dismissing Apple’s contract claims on that basis, where Apple had no contractual obligation to accept any offer from Motorola?
  3. Apple asserted three declaratory judgment claims that would have settled uncertainty regarding Motorola’s patent rights and obligations. Did the district court err in refusing to adjudicate those claims?
  4. Does this Court have exclusive appellate jurisdiction over this appeal because the suit encompasses declaratory judgment claims relating to Motorola’s patent suit?

According to Apple, the answer to each of these questions is a resounding yes.  After the jump, we’ll take a look at Apple’s brief in a bit more detail.
Continue Reading Apple files opening appellate brief in second Motorola/FRAND-related Federal Circuit appeal

CapitolPatent assertions by non-practicing entities have been garnering much of the patent-related attention on Capitol Hill, but standard-essential patents are also in the mix.  Next week, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights is scheduled to have a hearing on “Standard Essential Patent Disputes and Antitrust Law.”  The hearing