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Vodafone set for High Court trial following 4G patent claim

Paul Lipscombe
July 24, 2019

IPCom currently has over 200 patent families in the field of mobile communications

Vodafone has been summoned to the High Court for trial following a patent infringement claim from IPCom. 

The IP management and patent licensing company has been granted an expedited trial against Vodafone set to take place on November 19 after both parties failed to seek an agreement.  

It comes after IPCom accused the operator of infringing on its 100T8 patent that relates to LTE (4G) network technology which looks at process of granting mobile phones access to the LTE network. 

IPCom has challenged Vodafone for negotiations for years, which has included a FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) offer. This offer included royalty payments due to IPCom for Vodafone’s use of IPCom’s portfolio. 

However Vodafone has refused to sign the agreement and settle out of court, which has led to IPCom to file litigation with the UK court. 

The patent is due to expire in February next year, which has led the Court to expedite the trial. 

During the trial, the Court is expected to consider the validity of the claims and if the 100T8 is a standard essential patent. After this trial, there is also a separate FRAND trial expected to take place in June 2020, looking at the commercial elements of the case. 

Commenting on the confirmation of the trial IPCom MD Pio Suh said: “We were both surprised and disappointed that, despite our transparent FRAND offer and diplomatic approach, Vodafone turned its back on out-of-court negotiations.

“However, we’re also pleased that an expedited trial hearing has been granted, and we remain hopeful that this case can be swiftly resolved.”

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