18 August 2020
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Breaking News in Nokia vs. Daimler (2 O 34/19) - (FRAND/SEP case)

The Mannheim Regional Court just found that Daimler is infringing Nokia's EP Patent EP 2 981 103 B1 and issued an injunction potentially prohibiting further selling the vehicles concerned.

The court found that the FRAND defence would not apply in this case, since Daimler and its intervening parties, considering their overall conduct, never showed the required willingness to take a FRAND license.

A possible referral to the European Court of Justice was found to be inappropriate, since, given the lack of willingness to license, many of the possible referral questions were not relevant anymore.

It remains to be seen whether the sales ban will actually be enforced by Nokia. In order to do so, a substantial security deposit would have to be deposited, to cover potential damages arising from the enforcement, in case the next instance overturns the decision of the Mannheim regional court.

Daimler is quoted to appeal the decision in any case.


Read the press release (in German) from Mannheim court press office.

 



UPDATE AS OF 1 JUNE 2021:

Daimler and Nokia have just settled their litigation on standard essential patents on communication technology globally, thereby terminating their longstanding legal FRAND battle. It is yet unclear if this also means an end of the related referral questions pending before the CJEU. Answers to them are awaited by the professional community long and eagerly.

According to sources, Continental AG is said to continue its battle against Nokia regardless. So possibly, a further opportunity to receive guidance on the referral topics from the CJEU may arise in the not too distant future.

Christoph is a Partner and Patent Attorney at Mewburn Ellis. He handles original patent drafting and prosecution at the EPO and DPMA (German Patent and Trade Mark Office), principally in the engineering sector. Christoph regularly represents clients in opposition and appeal proceedings, as well as nullity and litigation proceedings before German courts. He advises clients on all matters of IP strategy and portfolio management, including Employee’s Inventions in Germany. Christoph also handles design matters. He is spearheading our dedicated team of future mobility experts.
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