Confidentiality in FRAND Licensing After Huawei v ZTE: National Courts in Europe Searching for Balance
les Nouvelles - Journal of the Licensing Executives Society, Volume LIII No. 3, September 2018
11 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2018 Last revised: 3 Oct 2018
Date Written: July 23, 2018
In a landmark decision in the matter Huawei v ZTE, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) established a well-balanced framework for the licensing of Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) on Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) terms and conditions. Following this judgement, national courts in Europe have been providing further guidance on several key questions related to the ruling, as illustrated in summary infographic starting on page 215. A significant portion of this case law has been developed in Germany. In their effort to interpret the Huawei v ZTE FRAND framework, German courts have repeatedly addressed an issue with significant practical relevance for the licensing of SEPs, which the CJEU did not expressly raise in its decision: The protection of confidentiality in the context of FRAND licensing negotiations and FRAND related litigation. The present paper examines whether the efforts of the German jurisprudence have produced viable solutions in this respect so far.
Keywords: FRAND, Huawei v ZTE, National Courts, Europe, Court of Justice of the European Union, CJEU, SEPs
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