Last week, Judge Orrick of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued an Order that enjoins Huawei from enforcing an injunction on Chinese standard essential patents (SEPs) entered by the Chinese People’s Court of Shenzhen (the Shenzhen Court).  The Chinese Shenzhen Court entered that injunction after considering Samsung’s arguments that the SEPs were subject to Huawei’s commitment to license them on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.  This case provides incremental insight into asking a U.S. court to bar enforcement of a foreign injunction based on foreign SEPs so that the U.S. court may consider FRAND contractual rights as to those foreign SEPs.

As with most cases, this decision is fairly fact specific.  Some of the key points from this decision include the following:

  • Filing Date of U.S. and Foreign Actions.  The patent owner (Huawei) filed this U.S. action and the Chinese action at the same time.  Technically, perhaps because of the time zone difference, the U.S. action was filed one day before the Chinese action.  The simultaneous filing indicated that the patent owner was not  filing the Chinese action as a run-around a much earlier filed U.S. action (as was the case in the Microsoft v. Motorola case where an antisuit injunction was entered).
  • First-To-File Race?  This case has a first-to-file flavor similar to what we see in selecting a forum for U.S. court actions–e.g., courts defer to litigating a case in the first U.S. district court where the matter is raised, rather than in another U.S. district court with a later-filed case on the same matter.  That first-to-file deference leads to a race to the court where the patent owner tries to  file a U.S. case in its preferred U.S. court before an accused infringer files a related declaratory action in another U.S. court, and vice versa.  The fact that Huawei technically filed this U.S. case one day before Huawei filed the Chinese case was a factor that Judge Orrick found to favor entering an antisuit injunction that gives preference to the first filed U.S. action over the later filed Chinese action.  Huawei essentially outraced itself in the first-to-file competition (i.e., filed its U.S. action before filing its Chinese action)
  • Scope of U.S. and Foreign Actions.  Although not totally clear from the record, the Chinese court apparently considered only whether the accused infringer (Samsung) was a willing licensee in its negotiations with the patent owner (Huawei) for a license under the Chinese SEPs.  In this U.S. case, however, the court would consider a much broader issue of whether Huawei breached its FRAND commitment and determine FRAND contract terms.  In other words, the U.S. court was not going to simply retry and decide the same issues already decided by the Chinese court and his decision would control whether the patent owner would be entitled to the injunctive relief granted by the Chinese court.
  • The Antisuit Injunction is Limited In Scope and Duration.  The U.S. court was entering an injunction of limited duration and scope.  The Chinese injunction that the patent owner (Huawei) was enjoined from enforcing concerned only 2 Chinese patents and was subject to an appeal in China that would not be decided for a few more months.  This U.S. case is scheduled for trial in December, after which the U.S. court would decide the contract issues and dissolve the antisuit injunction.  Accordingly, the antisuit injunction would preclude enforcement of the Chinese injunction for only a few months and impact only 2 Chinese patents.
  • Judicial Estoppel From Entering the Antisuit Injunction.  The accused infringer (Samsung) successfully argued against bifurcating the U.S. case that would have decided the FRAND contract issues first; rather, it argued that the U.S. court must first determine whether the patent owner’s (Huawei’s) patents were valid, enforceable, infringed and essential to the standard before the court could then decide the contractual FRAND issues.  The U.S. court agreed to proceed with the entire case–both the FRAND contract and U.S. SEP infringement claims–at the same time with a single two-week jury trial.  The accused infringer’s later request for an antisuit injunction “tempted” the court to hold that the accused infringer was judicially estopped from now arguing that an antisuit injunction was warranted so that the the contractual issues would be decided first (contrary to the accused infringer’s successful bifurcation argument).  But, rather than that, the court ruled that the infringer would be granted the antisuit injunction but could not argue that the FRAND contract issues could not be decided without evidence of whether the foreign patents were valid, enforceable, infringed or essential (if such determinations were outside the scope of the U.S. court’s jurisdiction).

Below is a more detailed discussion of the decision. Continue Reading Judge Orrick enjoins Huawei from enforcing injunction for infringing SEPs issued by China’s Shenzhen court (Huawei v. Samsung)

Magistrate Judge Payne recently ruled against prospective licensee T-Mobile’s motion to dismiss patent owner Huawei’s Declaratory Judgment Complaint that seeks a declaration that Huawei  complied with its FRAND commitments to ETSI regarding LTE standard-essential patents during Huawei’s license negotiations with T-Mobile.  Judge Payne did not rule whether or not Huawei had complied with its licensing negotiations; rather, he simply indicated that there was sufficient controversy between the parties and concern that T-Mobile might bring a breach of contract action against Huawei that the court could exercise declaratory judgment subject-matter jurisdiction to resolve the FRAND-compliance dispute.  This is a procedural ruling that is subject to review by the presiding district court judge, Judge Gilstrap.

This decision is interesting because it supports a way for patent owners with large SEP portfolios to resolve FRAND or other licensing disputes in a single action and, thereby, avoid complex and expensive patent infringement litigations on a patent-by-patent basis.  But the devil is in the details and we will await further developments as the case proceeds. Continue Reading Judge Payne rules patent owner may bring case seeking a declaration that it has not breached FRAND commitments (Huawei v. T-Mobile)

Judge Payne recently denied a request to proceed with all of the parties’ alleged FRAND-obligated standard essential patents in the same case, disappointing counterclaimants who had wanted to resolve together the single controversy over each of the parties’ standard essential patents.  Huawei brought suit asserting patents alleged to be essential to 3GPP LTE standards and subject to a FRAND obligation.  Nokia filed a counterclaim against Huawei on patents that also were alleged to be essential to 3GPP LTE standards and subject to a FRAND obligation.  Judge Payne decided that it would be more efficient to proceed with the Huawei and Nokia patents in their own separate cases, rather than together. Continue Reading Judge Payne severs each parties’ SEPs into separate cases (Huawei v. Nokia)

Today, a European Union high court issued a ruling that provides guidance on what steps the owner of a FRAND-encumbered patent that may be essential to a standard should take before seeking injunctive relief.  The court also ruled that a willing licensee should act without delay, provide a counter-offer, and actively pay royalties (in trust or otherwise) for past and on-going use of the patent while the parties negotiate toward a FRAND license.  The court further ruled that there was no specific pre-filing steps needed for the owner of a FRAND-encumbered patent to file suit seeking solely an accounting and monetary relief for past infringement (i.e., not injunctive).

Background

The case involves patent owner (“proprietor”) Huawei asserting a European patent alleged essential to the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard against alleged infringer ZTE.  That patent was subject to a commitment to license the patent on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms (FRAND) made to the European Telecommunications Standards Insitute (ETSI).

ETSI has intellectual property right (IPR) policies that concern patents that are essential to ETSI standards.  A patent is essential to the standard where it is not possible on technical grounds to make equipment that complies with the standard without infringing the patent.  ETSI’s IPR policy provides that patent owners should be adequeately and fairly rewarded for the use of their patented technology, but also seeks to guard against such patents making standardized technology unavailable.  Thus ETSI seeks a balance between the needs of standardization for public use and the rights of patent owners.

To this end, ETSI participants are required to timely disclose their patents that are essential to an ETSI standard.  In response to such disclosure, ETSI will ask the patent owner to give an irrevocable FRAND commitment.  ETSI is supposed to determine whether to suspend work on adopting the standard until such a commitment is received.  ETSI does not check whether the patent actually is essential or valid.  Further, ETSI does not define what would be a “license on FRAND terms.”

In April 2011, patent owner Huawei brought an action in German court against ZTE for infringing the LTE patent following failed negotiations.  The parties had been in negotiations from November 2010 until end of March 2011.  Huawei offered what it considered a FRAND royalty and ZTE responded with a cross-license offer.  No agreement was reached, though ZTE continued to sell LTE devices.  In its lawsuit, Huawei sought both injunctive and monetary relief.

The German court stayed its proceedings and referred specific issues to this European Union high court dealing with competition issues, based on the following questions:

(1) Does the proprietor of [an SEP] which informs a standardisation body that it is willing to grant any third party a license on [FRAND] terms abuse its dominant market position if it brings an action for an injunction against a patent infringer even though the infringer has declared that it is willing to negotiate concerning such a license? or

Is an abuse of the dominant market position to be presumed only where the infringer has submitted to the proprietor of the [SEP] an acceptable, unconditional offer to conclude a licensing agreement which the patentee cannot refuse without unfairly impeding the infringer or breaching the prohibition of discrimination, and the infringer fulfils its contractual obligations for acts of use already performed in anticipation of the license to be granted?

(2) If abuse of a dominant market position is already to be presumed as a consequence of the infringer’s willingness to negotiate:

Does Article 102 TFEU lay down particular qualitative and/or time requirements in relation to the willingness to negotiate?  In particular, can willingness to negotiate be presumed where the patent infringer has merely stated (orally) in a general way that it is prepared to enter into negotiations, or must the infringer already have entered into negotiations by, for example, submitting specific conditions upon which it is prepared to conclude a licensing agreement?

(3) If the submission  of an acceptable, unconditional offer to conclude a licensing agreement is a prerequisite for abuse of a dominant market position:

Does Article 102 TFEU lay down particular qualitative and/or time requirements in relation to that offer?  Must the offer contain all the provisions which are normally included in licensing agreements in the field of technology in question?  In particular, may the offer be made subject to the condition that the [SEP] is actually used and/or is shown to be valid?

(4) If the fulfilment of the infringer’s obligations arising from the licence that is to be granted is a prerequisite for the abuse of a dominant market position:

Does Article 102 TFEU lay down particular requirements with regard to those acts of fulfilment?  Is the infringer particularly required to render an account for past acts of use and/or to pay royalties?  May an obligation to pay royalties be dischared, if necessary, by depositing a security?

(5) Do the conditions under which the abuse of a dominant positoin by the proprietor of a[n SEP] is to be presumed apply also to an action on the ground of other claims (for rendering of accounts, recall of products, damages) arising from a patent infringement?

Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), referenced above, states as follows:

Any abuse by one or more undertakings of a dominant position within the internal market or in a substantial part of it shall be prohibited as incompatible with the internal market in so far as it may affect trade between Member States.

Such abuse may, in particular, consist in:
(a) directly or indirectly imposing unfair purchase or selling prices or other unfair trading conditions;
(b) limiting production, markets or technical development to the prejudice of consumers;
(c) applying dissimilar conditions to equivalent transactions with other trading parties, thereby placing them at a competitive disadvantage;
(d) making the conclusion of contracts subject to acceptance by the other parties of supplementary obligations which, by their nature or according to commercial usage, have no connection with the subject of such contracts.

 Decision

The European high court answered the questions above as follows:

1.  Article 102 TFEU must be interpreted as meaning that the proprietor of a patent essential to a standard established by a standardisation body, which has given an irrevocable undertaking to that body to grant a licence to third parties on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (‘FRAND’) terms, does not abuse its dominant position, within the meaning of that article, by bringing an action for infringement seeking an injunction prohibiting the infringement of its patent or seeking the recall of products for the manufacture of which that patent has been used, as long as:

prior to bringing an action, the proprietor has, first, alerted the alleged infringer of the infringement complained about by designating that patent and specifying the way in which it has been infringed, and, secondly, after the alleged infringer has expressed its willingness to conclude a licensing agreement on FRAND terms, presented to that infringer a specific, written offer for a licence on such terms, specifying, in particular, the royalty and the way in which it is to be calculated, and

where the alleged infringer continues to use the patent in question, the alleged infringer has not diligently responded to that offer, in accordance with recognised commercial practices in the field and in good faith, this being a matter which must be established on the basis of objective factors and which implies, in particular, that there are no delaying tactics.

2.  Article 102 TFEU must be interpreted as not prohibiting, in circumstances such as those in the main proceedings [i.e., the stayed German action], an undertaking in a dominant position and holding a patent essential to a standard established by a standardisation body, which has given an undertaking to the standardisation body to grant licenses for that patent on FRAND terms, from bringing an action for infringement against the alleged infringer of its patent and seeking the rendering of accounts in relation to past acts of use of that patent or an award of damages in respect of those acts of use.

The court started by noting the balance it must strike between “maintaining free competition” based on “Article 102 TFEU prohibit[ing] abuses of a dominate position” and “the requirement to safeguard th[e] proprietor’s intellectual-property rights and its right to judicial protection.”  The court further noted the limits of its ruling, stating that, in this case, “the existence of a dominant position has not been contested” and the questions to be addressed “relate only to the existence of an abuse”, thus “the analysis must be confined to the latter criterion.”

FRAND-Encumber SEPs Differ From Other Patents.  The court stated that filing a lawsuit for patent infringement “forms part of the rights of the proprietor of an intellectual-property right” and normally is not an abuse of a dominant position.  But there are “exceptional circumstances” when it may be an abuse.  This case presents two distinguishing features from most patents.  First, it involves a standard essential patent (SEP) that, unlike other patents, can preclude competitors from making standard compliant products.  Second, the patent “obtained SEP status only in return for the proprietor’s irrevocable undertaking … that it is prepared to grant licences on FRAND terms.”  Thus, a refusal to grant such a license “may, in principle, constitute an abuse within the meaning of Article 102 TFEU.”

Balance High Level of Protection Given Patent Rights.  The court noted that applicable law “provides for a range of legal remedies aimed at ensuring a high level of protection for intellectual-property rights in the internal market, and the right to effective judicial protection.”  This counsels not hindering a patent owner’s right to seek judicial relief and requiring a user to obtain a license before using the patented technology:

This need for a high level of protection for intellectual-property rights means that, in principle, the proprietor may not be deprived of the right to have recourse to legal proceedings to ensure effective enforcement of his exclusive rights, and that, in principle, the user of those rights, if he is not the proprietor, is required to obtain a licence prior to any use.

This is balanced with considerations for FRAND-encumbered SEPs, which “justif[ies] the imposition … of an obligation to comply with specific requirements when bringing actions against alleged infringers for a prohibitory injunction.”

First Step – Prior Notice to Infringer.  The court thus ruled that, before bringing suit for injunctive relief, an SEP owner must “first … alert the alleged infringer of the infringement complained about by designating that SEP and specifying the way in which it has been infringed.”  One reason for this is that, because there are a large number of patents that may be essential to a standard, the accused infringer may not “necessarily be aware that it is using the teaching of an SEP that is both valid and essential to a standard.”

Second Step – Written FRAND Terms.  If, after notice, the alleged infringer “expressed its willingness to conclude” a FRAND license, the SEP owner must then provide “a specific, written offer for a licence on FRAND terms … specifying, in particular, the amount of the royalty and the way in which that royalty is to be calculated.”  The court explained it was proper to have the SEP owner make such an offer, who may have nonpublic agreements with other licensees, since the patent owner “is better placed to check whether its offer complies with the condition of non-discrimination than is the alleged infringer.”

Accused Infringer’s Obligation.  An accused infringer has its own obligations before it can take advantage of a FRAND defense.

First, if an accused infringer objects to the proferred license offer, it must submit, “promptly and in writing, a specific counter-offer that corresponds to FRAND terms.”  This response must be in “good faith” with “no delaying tactics”:

[I]t is for the alleged infringer diligently to respond to that offer, in accordance with recognised commercial practices in the field and in good faith, a point which must be established on the basis of objective factors and which implies, in particular, that there are no delaying tactics.

Second, if its counter-offer is rejected, an accused infringer who already has been selling or otherwise using the technology before a license is entered must provide “appropriate security” for the past use of the technology and render an account of same:

The calculation of that security must include, inter alia, the number of the past acts of use of the SEP, and the alleged infringer must be able to render an account in respect of those acts of use.

Third-Party Royalty Determination.  If the parties do not reach agreement, they can seek a “royalty determined by an independent third party, by decision without delay.”

Can Challenge Patent.  The court ruled that, because the standard setting body did not determine essentiality or validity, the accused infringer should be allowed to challenge whether the patent is infringed, essential or valid during the negotiations or to reserve the right to do so in the future.

No Abuse If Seeking Past Money Damages.  The court ruled that “seeking the rendering of accounts in relation to past acts of use of [an] SEP or an award of damages in respect of those acts” are not an abuse of dominance, because such actions “do not have a direct impact on products complying with the standard … appearing or remaining on the market.”

Judge Essex issued a Notice Regarding Initial Determination in InterDigital’s ITC action against ZTE and Nokia (Inv. No. 337-TA-868) on Friday, indicating that there has been a finding of no violation with respect to any of the 3G and 4G devices at issue. The notice is sparse on details, indicating only that no violation of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, has occurred by reason of infringement. A public version of the Initial Determination should be available in the coming weeks, as well as the Commission’s decision whether or not to review the ALJ’s decision.

As discussed in our June 6 post, Samsung recently settled out of this investigation as part of a settlement resolving all disputes involving InterDigital’s 3G/4G cellular standard-essential patents. ALJ Essex issued a separate Initial Determination on June 9, granting a joint motion by Samsung and InterDigital to terminate the investigation as to Samsung based on the settlement agreement. Huawei also settled-out of this investigation earlier this year.

Last week the U.S. International Trade Commission issued the public version  of its decision last December that no valid claim of Interdigital’s 3G patents was infringed by Huawei, Nokia or ZTE and reserving ruling on other issues, such as on RAND obligations (see our Dec. 23,2013 post).  The ITC also gave its Federal Register notice of its decision earlier this month to grant InterDigital’s motion to voluntarily  terminate the investigation against the remaining respondent LG to avoid simultaneously  litigating that case in the ITC while InterDigital was appealing the decision as to the other respondents (see our Jan. 13, 2014 post about InterDigital’s voluntary termination after remand from Federal Circuit).

So we may not know for a year or more–pending InterDigital’s appeal–whether the SSO-obligation issues will be considered in this litigation.  Those issues may be mooted if the Federal Circuit affirms the ITC’s ruling that no valid patent claim is infringed.

On December 30, 2013, InterDigital and Huawei filed a stipulation to dismiss the pending Delaware district court action (13-cv-00008) without prejudice, indicating the parties entered into a “binding settlement agreement and agreement to arbitrate”.  The Court promptly dismissed the case.

Yesterday, InterDigital and Huawei similarly moved to terminate the corresponding ITC action, Inv. No. 337-TA-868, with respect to Huawei pursuant to a settlement and arbitration agreement.  We anticipate the ALJ will grant the parties’ joint motion, removing Huawei from the case.  The 868 Investigation was initiated by InterDigital against Huawei, Nokia, Samsung, and ZTE in February 2013, after a set of corresponding district court actions were filed in Delaware against each party last January.  As of right now, Huawei is the only party to have settled-out of this round of InterDigital infringement actions, and Nokia, Samsung, and ZTE continue to defend both the district court and ITC cases.

On Dec. 19, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that Huawei, Nokia and ZTE did not infringe any valid Interdigital alleged 3G patents and, therefore, did not rule on RAND or public interest issues in that investigation (discussed in our prior post).  The ITC is reserving those issues for consideration in due course given the continued investigation of LG on those patents (recall that the ITC had dismissed LG from the investigation due to an arbitration agreement, but that decision was reversed and remanded by the Federal Circuit).

Today, the U.S. International Trade Commission issued its delayed decision on whether it would review ALJ David P. Shaw’s Initial Determination finding no violation of Section 337 in In the Matter of Certain Wireless Devices with 3G Capabilities and Components Thereof, Inv. No. 337-TA-800.  (For some background, see our previous post on the ALJ’s Initial Determination.)  Here’s the Notice, indicating that the Commission will review the ALJ’s Initial Determination in its entirety:

[337-TA-800 Notice of Commission Decision to Review Initial Determination

You may recall that despite the fact that the ALJ found no violation of Section 337, both InterDigital and the Respondents (Nokia, Huawei, and ZTE) filed petitions for review on certain issues.  And because the Commission is going to review the ID in its entirety, it could potentially reverse the ALJ’s findings on many different issues, ranging from infringement and invalidity to FRAND defenses and domestic industry issues.  The end result could be a finding of a violation of Section 337 on one or more of the asserted patents, or it might be that the Commission comes to many of the same conclusions as ALJ Shaw.

Despite all the attention surrounding SEPs at the ITC, though, the Commission has not called for additional briefing on FRAND issues.  In fact, the Commission expressly stated that it is not interested in receiving submissions that address the public interest or the appropriate remedy in this case (some submissions addressing this have actually already been filed).

What the Commission seems to be most interested in, however, is the issue of domestic industry.  The ALJ had determined that InterDigital satisfied this ITC statutory requirement through its investments in licensing its patents to third parties, but the Respondents want the ITC to reverse this finding.  The ITC has requested submissions from the parties addressing this issue in particular:

Please discuss, in light of the statutory language, legislative history, the Commission’s prior decisions, and relevant court decisions, including InterDigital Commc’ns, LLC v. Int’l Trade Comm’n, 690 F.3d 1318 (Fed. Cir. 2012), whether establishing a domestic industry based on licensing under 19 U.S.C. § 1337(a)(3)(C) requires proof of “articles protected by the patent” (i.e., a technical prong).  If so, please identify and describe the evidence in the record that establishes articles protected by the asserted patents.

(Incidentally, the Federal Circuit case referenced by the Commission (see our post on that decision here) is currently the subject of a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court.)

The current target date for completion of the investigation — the date by which the ITC will issue its Final Determination — is October 28, 2013.  Despite the fact that the Commission did not order additional briefing on FRAND issues, this will be the first post-USTR veto opportunity for the ITC to address how FRAND might affect exclusionary relief.  Stay tuned.

As we noted last week, various non-parties have begun submitting statements on the public interest in connection with ITC Inv. No. 337-TA-800, In the Matter of Certain Wireless Devices With 3G Capabilities and Components Thereof.  Over the last several days, both the complainant InterDigital and each of the respondents (Nokia, Huawei, and ZTE) have submitted their own comments on the public interest considerations.

With this investigation being the first chance for the Commission to consider SEP/FRAND issues since the USTR’s veto of the 337-TA-794 exclusion order, InterDigital asserts that the -800 investigation “presents an ideal opportunity for the Commission to provide additional guidance on the issue of unwilling licensees and reverse hold-up in the context of FRAND licensing.

One might expect that InterDigital would ask the Commission to further develop the FRAND-related record and make specific factual findings, given the content of the USTR veto letter in the -794 investigation — but this is far from the case.  Instead, InterDigital argues that the record here is well-developed, and that the parties have specifically briefed the “unwilling licensee” issue.  InterDigital argues that the evidence demonstrates that Nokia, Huawei, and ZTE refused to pay what the ALJ determined to be FRAND royalties, and took alleged “unreasonable positions” in FRAND licensing negotiations.  According to InterDigital, all of this shows that — in the event the Commission overturns the ALJ’s findings on infringement and/or validity  — an exclusion order is appropriate in this case.  (InterDigital also argues that U.S. Patent No. 7,616,970 — the sole patent that the ALJ determined was infringed, but was also invalid — is “not even arguably essential” to any standard practiced by the accused products, and therefore no FRAND obligations should stand in the way of an exclusion order issuing, at least for that patent.)

Not surprisingly, Nokia and Huawei both disagree that the evidence satisfies the standard set forth by the USTR in the -794 case, as well as InterDigital’s claim that the ‘970 patent is not essential.  Nokia argues that the ‘970 patent was declared as essential to the ETSI GERAN Standard, and simply adds wireless networking functionality to other functionality that is required by the WCDMA wireless standard — making it a standard-essential patent “under present definitions of ‘essential’.”  (For support, Nokia cites the recent In re Innovatio decision) — although, as InterDigital points out, the Innovatio decision evaluated “essentiality” and the scope of RAND obligations under the IEEE patent policy, as opposed to the ETSI patent policy apparently at issue here.)

Nokia asserts that the ALJ’s FRAND analysis was no more detailed than the analysis in the -794 case, arguing that the ALJ here “simply ruling as a matter of law that the patent owner only had an obligation to negotiate in good faith.”  Nokia also claims that the ALJ made no factual finding that Nokia has refused to take a FRAND license, and that the record “compels the opposite conclusion” — that Nokia is a willing licensee, and no exclusion order should issue against it based on infringement of a FRAND-encumbered patent.

For its part, Huawei echoes many of the same arguments set out by Nokia — that the FRAND-related record is not detailed enough to satisfy the concerns set forth in the USTR’s -794 letter, and that Huawei is a willing licensee (as allegedly demonstrated, in part, by its efforts in Delaware district court to receive a FRAND determination for InterDigital’s portfolio).  Huawei also argues that if the Commission were to fully evaluate the propriety of an exclusion order, it would “be obligated to undertake further proceedings to develop a comprehensive record and to permit the parties to set forth their views on how the principles in the [DOJ/USPTO] Policy Statement should be applied to that record” — i.e., Huawei believes that before deciding whether to issue an exclusion order, the ITC should order more detailed briefing on FRAND issues.

[UPDATE] Since we originally posted this, the public version of ZTE’s submission has become available.  ZTE’s makes arguments similar to those made by Nokia and Huawei — that there has been no judicially-determined FRAND rate, that the ALJ simply concluded (ZTE alleges erroneously) that InterDigital negotiated in good faith, and that ZTE has not been deemed an “unwilling licensee.”  ZTE claims that on the contrary and under the USTR’s framework, ZTE “cannot be considered an unwilling licensee” because it has sought and continues to seek a FRAND determination in district court in Delaware.  As such, ZTE argues that if the Commission reverses the ALJ and finds a violation of Section 337, it should decline to issue exclusionary relief.  [/UPDATE]

The Commission will make a decision on whether to review the ALJ’s ID by the end of the month, so stay tuned.