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SENTENCE ECJ C 170/13 DATED 16/07/2015, CASE HUAWEI VS. ZTE

By Íñigo Gené, Trademark Department Lawyer

As of July 16th, 2015 the Court of Justice of the European Union issued a decision in the case known as "Huawei", in which the minimum conditions are set under which the parties must negotiate a license agreement that affects an essential patent .

Beyond these minimum conditions relevant, we include the concept of essential patents.

These patents are inventions that develop a technology considered basic or essential by a standards body within a specific field of application.

At the time the technology is considered essential by the appropriate body, the holder thereof will be compelled to grant licenses to third parties under certain conditions, known as FRAND (Fair Reasonable and Non Discriminatory). Ergo, the patentee must grant licenses or fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory royalties, thus avoiding abusive behavior on the market.

This case has helped to highlight again the jurisprudential principles concerning essential patents and licensing conditions between parties. We must be attentive to the effects that this law has on the regulation of compulsory licenses.


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