First German Decisions Applying the ECJ’s Huawei v. ZTE Framework on Injunctions for Standard Essential Patents

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Two recent German court decisions address requirements for obtaining injunctions based on standard essential patents (SEPs), applying the rules established by the European Court of Justice in its Huawei v. ZTE decision. The ECJ’s decision sets out a specific process for an SEP owner to avoid claims of abuse of a dominant position when seeking injunctive relief in the EU under FRAND-committed SEPs.

The ECJ’s decision established a general framework, and it is up to the EU member states’ national courts to apply and implement the ECJ’s guidelines and to resolve the questions that the ECJ’s decision left open. Some of these questions have now been addressed by the Regional Court of Düsseldorf in two decisions in Sisvel v. Haier and the Regional Court of Mannheim in its decision in Saint Lawrence Communications v. Deutsche Telekom – the first German cases applying the Huawei v. ZTE framework. All three decisions are currently under appeal, and the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf has already issued a ruling suspending the enforcement of the Regional Court’s injunction in Sisvel v. Haier based on evident flaws in its application of the Huawei v. ZTE requirements.

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