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InterDigital wins again in Lenovo SEP dispute

Laptop computer displaying logo of Lenovo

The England and Wales High Court ruled that an InterDigital patent was valid and essential to the 3G standard today, January 31

InterDigital scored another win over Lenovo at the England and Wales High Court today, January 31, after a patent it owns was found to be valid and essential to the 3G standard.

The judgment, issued by Mr Justice James Mellor, stemmed from the third technical trial in the pair’s dispute over standard-essential patents (SEPs).

The patent (EP 2,421,318 B1), which was granted in 2013 and has a priority date of August 21 2006, covers a method and apparatus for transmitting scheduling information in a wireless communication system.

Lenovo had argued the patent was invalid due to prior art including a 2006 US patent application and a technical specification published by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project that same year.

In his judgment, Mellor noted the issues in the trial were particularly complex, even for a SEP dispute.

The judge said Lenovo’s evidence suffered from hindsight, and that the case was a rare example of where inventiveness stemmed mainly from the identification of a problem.

Identification of a problem wouldn’t normally be enough to demonstrate inventiveness, the judge noted.

The latest decision comes just more than a week after the Court of Appeal affirmed a separate High Court judgment that found Lenovo had infringed another of InterDigital’s valid and essential patents.

Judgment is still pending from the trial to determine a fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) royalty for InterDigital’s portfolio, heard by Mellor last February.

The highly anticipated FRAND judgment is expected to be handed down later this year.

It will be closely watched by all SEP stakeholders due to the UK’s importance as a venue for such disputes.

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