On 4 Sept. 2023, China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC) issued a final ruling of jurisdiction challenge on the second instance in the standard essential patent (SEP) licensing fee dispute between the appellants, Interdigital Inc. and Interdigital Holdings Inc. (hereinafter collectively “Interdigital”), and the appellees, Guangdong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications Co., Ltd., and Guangdong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications Co., Ltd. Shenzhen Branch (hereinafter collectively “OPPO”).
In its ruling, the SPC denied Interdigital’s appeal and upheld the first instance ruling (2022) Yue 73 Min Chu No. 195 ((2022)粤73民初195号) issued by the Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court, thus confirming that the Chinese courts have jurisdiction over global SEP licensing fee disputes.
This is another decision by the SPC confirming Chinese courts’ jurisdiction over global SEP licensing fee disputes, following the cases of OPPO v. Sharp and OPPO v. Nokia.
In January 2022, OPPO filed a lawsuit with the Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court requesting to confirm that the SEPs which Interdigital holds or has the right to license satisfy the global license conditions under FRAND terms with respect to OPPO.
On 17 Jan. 2022, the Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court accepted the case. During the defense period, Interdigital raised a jurisdictional objection.
The Guangzhou Intellectual Property Court issued the civil ruling (2022) Yue 73 Min Chu No. 195 on 13 Jan. 2023, rejecting Interdigital’s jurisdictional objection. Interdigital appealed against the first instance decision to the SPC.
The SPC held that this dispute has a proper connection to China, whether as the place where patent rights are granted, where patents are implemented, where negotiations for the concerning SEP licensing occur, or where the contract can reasonably be expected to be performed. As such, Chinese courts have unquestionable jurisdiction over this case.
Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team