The English Patents Court has upheld the validity of EP (UK) 2 229 744, which relates to an efficient polling system for a wireless communications network and has has been declared as essential to the LTE 4G telecommunications network standard. The Court also held that the patent is infringed by wireless telecommunications networks which operate in accordance with the relevant standard. Of particular interest in this case are the Judge’s findings in relation to whether simply the date, or the date and time, of the filing of a priority document should be considered when assessing the relevance of a potentially novelty-destroying piece of prior art.
The patent is part of a portfolio acquired by Unwired Planet from Ericsson. Unwired Patent alleged that Huawei and Samsung infringed the patent by manufacturing and selling equipment which complies with the relevant standard. The defendants denied infringement and counterclaimed for invalidity of the patent on the grounds that it was not entitled to priority, lacked novelty and was obvious in the light of the prior art.