Chinese company Lenovo has been ordered to pay US tech firm InterDigital $138.7 million for licenses for a package of proprietary telecom technologies. The relevant decision was made by a court in London at the end of the next phase of a lengthy legal battle.
InterDigital filed a lawsuit against Lenovo in 2019 over the terms under which Lenovo had to license proprietary technologies related to 3G, 4G, and 5G communications. There have already been five separate lawsuits related to the terms of the FRAND licenses for InterDigital’s patents. Licenses must be granted on “fair, non-discriminatory and reasonable terms”.
Judge James Mellor is known to have ruled on Thursday, March 16 that Lenovo’s and InterDigital’s previous proposals, calling for $337 million for a six-year license, are inconsistent with the terms of the FRAND licensing. The court ordered Lenovo 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 called the court decision “a great win for the technology industry and customers”. While InterDigital welcomed the injunction to pay for use of proprietary technology over the past few years, it intended to appeal because some aspects of the ruling “do not accurately reflect” the company’s licensing program.
The FRAND concept envisages general access to proprietary technologies contained in one or another widely recognized technical standard, on non-discriminatory and reasonable terms. According to the opinion Pinsent Masonic Expertsonly the UK and China are the jurisdictions that intend to set a generally accepted level of royalty based on FRAND at a global level.
According to experts, the focus of industry is now on the trial that will take place before the European Union’s Unified Patent Court. In June, the court will begin to consider whether similar principles are recognized in the EU.