Court favors Core, leaves LG Electronics sore

The timing of what has just happened in the world of patents cannot get better than this news. On the 1st of March 2016, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) published a discussion paper on standard essential patents (SEPs) and their availability on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. The paper invites views from the concerned stakeholders regarding Standard Essential Patents and the issues surrounding them until the 31st of March, 2016.

In our previous post on SEPs, we discussed the state of FRAND based litigation in India and other countries. We also took a look at how the Courts moved to interpret the law in these instances.

In another recent suit against LG, the electronics giant has been ordered to pay a whopping 3.5 million dollars to Core wireless for infringement of two Smartphone UI patents. In a David versus Goliath likeness, a company by the name of Core Wireless has brought down the electronics giant LG Electronics Inc.

A jury in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas awarded Core Wireless Licensing, $3.5 million in damages after finding that LG Electronics, Inc. and its subsidiary LG Electronics Mobilecomm U.S.A., Inc. had infringed two Smartphone user-interface patents owned by Core Wireless.

In its allegation, core wireless said that most of LG’s recent smartphones, including its leading LG G4 model, infringed two patents of Core Wireless. The Jury heard both parties and determined that LG had infringed the patents of Core Wireless and its claims of the patents being invalid do not hold well in the matter.

The Court in its ruling awarded past damages based on a reasonable royalty of $0.10 cents per unit, or $3.5 million. News reports suggest that Core Wireless will ask United States District Judge Rodney Gilstrap to order LG to pay a $0.10 cent per unit running royalty on all future sales of the infringing products for the remaining life of the patents, which would expire in 2027.

Core wireless apparently holds numerous patents for 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE network technologies and this is not the first time it that it has gone for the big fish. Core Wireless Inc. had earlier filed a lawsuit in 2012 against Apple, and asked for $ 100 million as damages for infringement of its patents. The Federal Court of Texas however ruled in favor of Apple and pointed out that there was no evidence of violation from Apple of any patents of Core Wireless company.

While we are yet to obtain a copy of the judgment to understand how the court has observed the infringement of the patents, it is certain that the victory of Core wireless against a major like LG electronics is likely to instigate debate on the issue.

Further, as an off the topic reminder to our readers, please note that the last date to submit your reviews, suggestions and answers in respect of the paper published by DIPP, the last date is 31st of March, 2016. All views, suggestions along with any facts, figures and empirical evidence must be sent to [email protected]

Authored by Gaurav Mishra.

Image source / attribution here, this image is in public domain.

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