Huawei, ZTE Lose Appeal Over Patent Disputes


The Supreme Court of Britain dismissed two appeals by Chinese telecoms firms Huawei and ZTE over mobile data patent disputes. The disputes are around the licensing of patented technology considered essential to mobile telecoms. These patents are meant to ensure fair competition and access to mobile technology such as 4G.

In the first case, Unwired Planet, an intellectual property company that licenses patents, had brought legal action against Huawei for infringement of five U.K. patents that Unwired acquired from Ericsson.The second appeal, on the other hand, concerned legal action brought by another patent licensing company, Conversant Wireless, against Huawei and ZTE for infringement of four of its U.K. patents.

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The Supreme Court essentially upheld rulings by lower courts on the cases and dismissed appeals by both Huawei and ZTE.

The ruling means that companies like Huawei cannot insist that patent holders like Conversant prove their patents in every jurisdiction of the world.