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Case details

Unwired Planet International Ltd and another (Respondents) v Huawei Technologies (UK) Co Ltd and another (Appellants)

Case ID: UKSC 2018/0214

Case summary


1. Does the English court have the power or jurisdiction, or is it a proper exercise of any such power or jurisdiction without the parties’ agreement:

  • to grant an injunction restraining infringement of a UK SEP unless the defendant enters into a global licence under a multinational patent portfolio;
  • to determine the rates/terms for such a licence; and
  • to declare that such rates/terms are FRAND?

2. If the answer to (i) is "yes", is England the proper forum for such a claim in the circumstances of the Conversant proceedings?

3. What is the meaning and effect of the non-discrimination component of the FRAND undertaking and does it mean that materially the same licence terms as offered to Samsung must be offered to Huawei in the circumstances of the Unwired case?

4. Does the CJEU’s decision in Huawei v ZTE mean that a SEP owner is entitled to seek an injunction restraining infringement of those SEPs in circumstances such as those of the Unwired case??


The cases concern a number of patents, which are declared to be essential to the practice of numerous telecommunications standards, held by the Respondents in both sets of proceedings, who commenced proceedings against the respective Appellants for infringing those patents. The Respondents are under an obligation to make available standard essential patents ("SEPs") on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms ("FRAND") terms.

In Unwired, two of Unwired’s patents were found to be valid and essential to the standards, and Unwired obtained an injunction against Huawei for the latter’s infringement of the SEPs. Huawei, with the permission of the first-instance judge, appealed to the Court of Appeal on three grounds, namely Issues (1), (3) and (4). Huawei’s appeal was dismissed and Huawei now appeals to the Supreme Court.

The proceedings in Conversant were brought after the High Court judgment was handed down in Unwired. The defendants in the Conversant proceedings challenged the jurisdiction of the English court, raising issues (1) and (2). The application was dismissed but Huawei and ZTE appealed to the Court of Appeal. The appeal was dismissed and Huawei and ZTE now appeal to the Supreme Court.

Judgment appealed

[2018] EWCA Civ 2344



  1. Huawei Technologies Co Ltd
  2. Huawei Technologies (UK) Co Ltd


  1. Unwired Planet International Ltd
  2. Unwired Planet LLC



Lord Reed, Lord Hodge, Lady Black, Lord Briggs, Lord Sales

Hearing start date

21 Oct 2019

Hearing finish date

24 Oct 2019

Watch hearing
21 Oct 2019 Morning session Afternoon session
22 Oct 2019 Morning session Afternoon session
23 Oct 2019 Morning session Afternoon session
24 Oct 2019 Morning session Afternoon session

Judgment details

Judgment date

26 Aug 2020

Neutral citation

[2020] UKSC 37

Watch Judgment summary
26 Aug 2020 Judgment summary