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Updated 7 4月 2021

Sisvel v Wiko

OLG Karlsruhe
9 12月 2020 - Case No. 6 U 103/19

A. Facts

The claimant, Sisvel, holds patents declared as (potentially) essential to the practice of the UMTS and LTE wireless telecommunications standards, which are subject to a commitment to be made accessible to users on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms and conditions (standard-essential patents or SEPs). Sisvel also administrates a patent pool, comprising patents of several SEP holders, including Sisvel's own SEPs (patent pool).

The defendants are two companies that are part of the Wiko group (Wiko). [1] Wiko sells mobile phones complying with the LTE standard - among other markets- in Germany.

In June 2015, the patent pool informed Wiko for the first time about the need to obtain a licence. On 1 June 2016, Sisvel (as the patent pool's administrator) offered Wiko a portfolio licence, which also covered the patent in suit. Agreement was, however, not reached.

On 22 June 2016, Sisvel brought an action against Wiko before the District Court (Landgericht) of Mannheim in Germany (District Court) based on one patent reading on the LTE standard (infringement proceedings). Sisvel requested a declaratory judgment confirming Wiko's liability for damages on the merits, as well as information and rendering of accounts.

On 23 June 2016, Sisvel made an offer for a bilateral licence limited to its own SEP portfolio to the German subsidiary of Wiko. This offer was not accepted. Moreover, Wiko filed a nullity action against the SEP in suit before the German Federal Patent Court (nullity proceedings).

In October 2016, Sisvel extended the lawsuit. Claims for injunctive relief as well as the recall and destruction of infringing products were added to the other claims initially asserted.

On 11 November 2016, Wiko made a counteroffer to Sisvel. Some days prior to the oral hearing in the infringement proceedings, Wiko informed the Court that it had provided information to Sisvel and had also deposited a security amount for past uses.

On 8 November 2017, Sisvel made a new offer to Wiko with reduced royalty rates. Wiko did not immediately react to this offer.

On 22 December 2017, Sisvel asked the District Court to order a stay of the infringement proceedings, until the decision of the Federal Patent Court in the parallel nullity proceedings. Wiko agreed with Sisvel's motion. On 30 January 2018, the infringement proceedings were stayed.

On 9 February 2018, Sisvel sent a reminder to Wiko regarding the offer made on 8 November 2017. Wiko responded on 16 February 2018, requesting further claim charts and more time to examine the patents covered by the offer.

On 26 June 2018, during the stay of the infringement proceedings, Sisvel made another licensing offer to Wiko based on a new restructured licensing program (2018 offer). Along with the 2018 offer, Sisvel provided Wiko with claim charts regarding 20 selected patents and a list of existing licensees of both its new licensing program and two pre-existing programs. The list contained the date of the conclusion of each agreement as well as the agreed licence fees. The names of the licensees were, however, redacted.

Wiko did not react to the 2018 offer for more than three months. On 15 October 2018, following a respective reminder sent by Sisvel on 14 September 2018, Wiko replied, without, however, commenting the 2018 offer; it just referred back to its counteroffer dated 11 November 2016. Wiko also criticized the fact that Sisvel did not disclose the names of the existing licensees so far.

In response to that claim, Sisvel shared a draft Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with Wiko on 22 October 2018, based on which it would be willing to disclose the names of the existing licensees. Wiko refused to sign the NDA proposed by Sisvel.

In October 2018, the Federal Patent Court upheld the SEP in suit in part. Subsequently, the District Court moved on with the infringement proceedings. After the end of the oral hearings in July 2019, Wiko made a new counteroffer to Sisvel and provided the latter with additional information. However, Wiko did not increase the amount of security deposited after its first counteroffer dated 11 November 2016.

In the beginning of September 2019, Sisvel set up an electronic data room containing redacted versions of Sisvel's existing licensing agreements with third parties and granted Wiko respective access rights. Wiko did not make use of this data room at any point in time.

On 4 September 2019, the District Court granted an injunction against Wiko and ordered the removal and destruction of infringing products from the market. It also confirmed Wiko's liability for damages on the merits and ordered Wiko to provide Sisvel with information required for the calculation of damages. Wiko appealed the decision of the District Court.

Shortly after the District Court rendered its decision, the term of the patent-in-suit expired. Sisvel, however, enforced the injunction granted by the District Court.

With the present judgment [2] (cited by, the Higher District Court (Oberlandesgericht) of Karlsruhe (Court) predominantly upheld the judgment of the District Court [3] .

B. Court's reasoning

The Court found that Wiko could not successfully raise a so-called 'FRAND-defence' based on an alleged abuse of market dominance (Article 102 TFEU) against the claims for injunctive relief and the recall and destruction of infringing products asserted by Sisvel. [4]

This question was still decisive in the present case, despite the fact that the patent-in-suit expired before the start of the appeal proceedings. The Court explained that the expiration of a patent affects only future acts of use (which, then, no longer constitute infringement): On the contrary, claims that had arisen prior to expiration based on acts of use during the lifetime of the patent are not impaired. [5] Whether claims were given before the expiration of the patent-in-suit is of particular importance, especially when the patent holder has enforced a (first-instance) judgment delivered in proceedings conducted within the term of protection of the patent, as it was the case here. [6]

Dominant market position

Having said that, the Court agreed with the finding of the District Court that Sisvel had a market dominant position in terms of Article 102 TFEU with respect to the patent-in-suit in the relevant time period prior to its expiration. [7]

The Court followed the District Court also insofar, as it confirmed that, by filing an infringement action, Sisvel had not abused its market dominance.

Notification of infringement

In the eyes of the Court, Sisvel had sufficiently notified Wiko about the infringement of the patent-in-suit prior to filing a court action. [8] The purpose of the notification of infringement is to draw the implementer's attention to the infringement and the necessity of taking a license on FRAND terms and conditions. [9] In terms of content, the notification must identify the patent infringed, the form of infringement and also designate the infringing embodiments. [9] Detailed technical or legal analysis of the infringement allegation is not required. [9] The production of so-called 'claim charts', which is common in practice, will, as a rule, suffice, but is not mandatory. [9] If the patent holder offers a portfolio licence, respective extended information duties occur. [9]

In the present case, it was not disputed that Sisvel had notified Wiko about the patent-in-suit prior to litigation. [10] As far as Wiko complained that no claim charts were presented before trial, the Court reiterated that no respective obligation of Sisvel existed. [11] What is more, the Court held that the court action initially filed by Sisvel, which did not include claims for injunctive relief and the recall and destruction of infringing products, could also be seen as an adequate notification of infringement. [10]

Willingness to obtain a licence

The Court then found that Wiko behaved as an unwilling (potential) licensee both prior and during the infringement proceedings [12] . The Court agreed with the assessment of the District Court that Wiko delayed the licensing negotiations between the parties with the goal to avoid taking a licence for as long as possible, in order to gain economic benefits. [13]

According to the Court, the 'expression of a general willingness to license' is not sufficient for assuming that an implementer is a 'willing licensee'. [14] Moreover, the implementer must 'clearly and unambiguously' declare willingness to conclude a license agreement on FRAND terms, 'whatever FRAND terms may actually look like" [14] . The respective declaration must be 'serious and unconditional'. [14]

The Court highlighted that for the assessment of willingness the overall facts and the particular conduct of the implementer shall be taken into account. [14] Willingness is not 'static': the finding that an implementer was willing (or unwilling) at a certain moment in time does not remain unchanged henceforth. [14]

The implementer must always be willing to obtain a licence and participate in negotiations in a 'target-oriented manner'; since implementers might be inclined to delay negotiations until the expiration of the patent-in-suit, there is a need to make sure that their behaviour in negotiations will not lead to delays. [15] Moreover, it should be expected that a willing implementer would seek a license as soon as possible, in order to shorten the period, in which it makes use of the patent-in-suit or the SEP holder's portfolio without authorisation and without paying licensing fees. [16] Accordingly, a willing licensee would not consider the 'negotiation obligations' of the SEP holder primarily as a means to defend itself against a court action, but as a means to utilize in order to reach a FRAND agreement, if needed. [16]

In the view of the Court, the above requirements are in line with the Huawei v ZTE judgment (Huawei judgment or Huawei) [17] of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU). [18] In Huawei, CJEU focused on the will of the infringer to conclude a license agreement on FRAND terms and emphasized that the latter must not pursue 'delaying tactics'. The Court explained that, although in Huawei the requirement to refrain from 'delaying tactics' is expressly mentioned only with respect to the duty of the implementer to react to a licensing offer of the SEP holder, it applies 'at all times' as long as the implementer uses the patents without a licence; otherwise, the suspension of SEP holder's right to the injunctive relief cannot be justified. [19]

In this context, the Court pointed out that not every 'reluctant involvement' of the implementer in licensing discussions will necessarily allow for the assumption of unwillingness. [20] Such behaviour could be justified in individual cases, especially when the SEP holder does not act in a 'target-oriented' manner itself. [20] Nevertheless, implementers must, as a rule, react timely even to a belated action of the SEP holder. [20] Furthermore, implementers must, in principle, inform the SEP holder of any objections at an early stage and should not wait to raise those much later in court proceedings. [20]

Looking at Wiko's conduct, the Court criticized especially the fact that it became active mostly as a reaction to new developments in the pending infringement proceedings. [21] A willing implementer would have, however, sought a licence independently of the initiation of legal steps and independently of the course of litigation. [22] As an example, the Court highlighted the fact that Wiko's counteroffer dated 11 November 2016 was made only shortly after Sisvel extended the infringement suit by adding a claim for injunctive relief. [23] Wiko also provided information on past acts of infringement only a few days prior to the first oral hearing in February 2017 (and refrained from constantly updating this information afterwards, as it would be expected by a willing licensee). [24]

The Court identified also further facts that indicate that Wiko engaged in delaying tactics. [25] Wiko reacted to Sisvel's licensing offers made during the course of the proceedings always belatedly and only after a reminder by Sisvel (for instance, it took Wiko more than three months to react to the 2018 offer) [26] . It also demanded further claim charts in February 2018, years after the action was filed. [27]

Wiko's refusal to sign the NDA offered by Sisvel -despite multiple reminders of the latter- without providing any reasons was also considered as a sign of unwillingness. [28] According to the Court, it should be expected by a willing licensee, who is not interested in delaying negotiations, to swiftly raise any criticisms regarding an NDA proposed by the SEP holder in writing or by e-mail, and not wait to raise any concerns several months later in the infringement proceedings, as Wiko had done here. [29] The Court also considered the fact that Wiko did not access the electronic data room set up by Sisvel containing redacted versions of Sisvel's third party agreements as an additional indication of unwillingness. [30]

Furthermore, the Court clarified that -contrary to Wiko's view- school holidays and/or staff shortages cannot provide sufficient justification for delays in negotiations. [31] Even if such circumstances occur, a willing implementer would have communicated any obstacles immediately. [31] Wiko failed to do so.

SEP holder's offer

Since Wiko was found to have been an unwilling licensee, the Court explained that the question whether Sisvel fulfilled its duty to make and adequately elaborate a FRAND licensing offer, was no longer decisive. [32] In fact, no such duty had arisen in the present case, due to Wiko's unwillingness to obtain a licence. [32] Notwithstanding the above, the Court provided guidance on the content and extend of the respective obligation of the SEP holder.

The Court first explained that FRAND is a 'range', which leaves room for flexibility. [33] As a rule, FRAND is determined in bilateral good faith negotiations between SEP holders and implementers, taking into account the specific circumstances of each individual case [33] ; indeed, parties are best situated to determine the exact content of FRAND in a specific setting. [33]

In order to meet its obligation, an SEP holder must present an offer to a willing licensee, which 'in general' complies with FRAND requirements and is fair, reasonable and not discriminatory with respect to the 'average licensee'. [34] The SEP holder shall further explain its offer in a way that permits the licensee to understand the assumptions, on which the offered rate and further conditions are based. [35] The rationale behind this obligation is to create a sufficient basis of information for the implementer for assessing the offer and eventually formulating a counteroffer. [36]

In this context, the Court made clear that implementers should not expect that the SEP holder individually adapts its (first) offer to the specific circumstances of each particular case. [37] The SEP holder's FRAND commitment does not give rise to such obligation. [37] The (first) offer is intended to launch the negotiations and provide an adequate information basis to the implementer, who will then be in a position to suggest necessary amendments by means of a counteroffer. [37] Accordingly, it will regularly be acceptable that the SEP holder's offer is 'not clearly and evidently' non-FRAND and sufficient information was provided to the implementer. [38]

The Court dismissed the notion that the implementer is obliged to negotiate (and eventually) make a counteroffer, only when the SEP holder's offer was fully FRAND-compliant. [38] This would bring the negotiations to a stand-still and, therefore, conflict with the spirit of the Huawei judgment, which is to encourage the parties to reach agreement on the licensing terms. [39] Moreover, the Court explained that –irrespective of whether the offer triggers an obligation of the implementer to submit a counter-offer– the latter will be regularly required, at least, to analyse the SEP holder's offer in due course and express any objections and queries without delay. [40]

Against this background, the Court found that none of the offers made to Wiko during the infringement proceedings was 'clearly and evidently' non-FRAND. [41] The fact that the offers did not define the start of the contract or the amount of royalties payable for past uses was not considered problematic. [42] The Court also found that the royalty rates offered were not 'evidently non-FRAND', since they were sufficiently substantiated by reference to existing licensing agreements and calculated on basis of a 'top-down' method. [43] A need to calculate royalties on grounds of the costs that incurred for the creation of the patented invention (cost-based approach) was not given, since this factor was not relevant for establishing value. [44]

In addition, the Court did not raise any concerns against the fact that Sisvel's offer concerned a worldwide portfolio licence: On the one hand, agreements with such scope are common in the telecommunications industry. [45] On the other hand, Wiko had worldwide activities, so that a licence with a limited scope would not provide sufficient coverage. [45]

The fact that some of the patents included in Sisvel's portfolio were -allegedly- not standard-essential did not render the offers 'un-FRAND'. [46] The Court stressed that, for the purpose of licensing negotiations and the conclusion of a licence, it is not necessary to conclusively clarify whether each portfolio patent is standard-essential. [47] Implementers can reserve the right to challenge the validity and essentiality of affected patents even after the conclusion of a licensing agreement. [47]

Similarly, the Court had no objections against a clause placing the burden of proof with regard to the exhaustion of licenced patents on Wiko. [48] This rule corresponds with the common allocation of the burden of proof under German law and does not place unreasonable weight on the licensee, since it will be better situated to trace the licensing chain by engaging with its suppliers. [49]

The question whether an adjustment clause is necessary for an offer to be considered FRAND was left unanswered by the Court. [50] Such clause would allow the implementer to adapt the agreed royalties, in case that patents fall out of the scope of the licence (e.g. due to expiration or invalidation). The Court saw no need for a respective contractual provision, since the licences offered by Sisvel would expire and, therefore, be re-negotiated after five years. [50] The Court did not express any concerns against the term of the offered licence or the termination clauses contained therein, either. [51]

Furthermore, the Court made clear that Sisvel had adequately elaborated the licensing rates offered to Wiko. [52] In the infringement proceedings, Sisvel responded to the 'top-down' calculation of Wiko in detail and made relevant clarifications. [53] According to the Court, Sisvel was under no circumstances obliged to elaborate on a cost-based calculation of royalties, as requested by Wiko; such demand was considered just another means to delay negotiations. [54]

Implementers' counteroffer

The Court also found that the counteroffers made by Wiko during the course of the first instance infringement proceedings were not FRAND. [55]

The Court highlighted that the obligation of the implementer to submit a FRAND counteroffer to the SEP holder is already triggered, when the previous licensing offer of the latter is not 'clearly and evidently' non-FRAND and sufficient information was provided, enabling the implementer to formulate its counteroffer. [56]

Having said that, the Court took the view that the royalty rates which Wiko offered were very low and, thus, not FRAND-compliant. [57] The Court criticized especially the fact that the rates were significantly lower than the rates which were considered to be adequate in previous court decisions. [58] Notwithstanding the above, the Court explained that, even if Wiko's counteroffer had been FRAND, this would not change the conclusion that Wiko had acted as an unwilling licensee. [59] According to the Court, a willing licensee would not have submitted a counteroffer around one year after receipt of the SEP holder's offer, as Wiko did. [60]

C. Other important issues

The Court stressed that for generating pressure-free licensing negotiations during pending infringement proceedings, it will, as a rule, be sufficient, if the proceedings are stayed with a view to parallel nullity proceedings concerning the patent-in-suit. [61] This is particularly true, when the SEP holder takes the respective initiative, as it was the case here. [61] Nevertheless, even if a pressure-free negotiation situation is not given, the infringers is not released from the obligation to act in good faith and engage in licensing negotiations, for instance by analysing a licensing offer of the SEP holder. [61] The refusal of the infringer to act accordingly could, in the eyes of the Court, allow the conclusion that it is an unwilling licensee. [61]

Apart from that, the Court confirmed that Wiko had no legal ground for requesting full disclosure of Sisvel's third party agreements [62] . Even if one would recognize a duty of the SEP holder to share information about the core content of existing licensing agreements (that are still in force), it is questionable whether this duty would also extend to agreements signed by previous patent holders. [63] The Court expressed particular doubts that this applies in cases in which a portfolio was assembled from patents acquired from different patent holders, since the relevance of bilateral or pool licensing agreements of the former patent holder can be limited in this case. [64]

Furthermore, the Court expressed the view that under German law a so-called 'covenant not to sue' does not have the effect of a (royalty-free) licence: such agreements will, as a rule, have only a procedural effect in terms of a pactum de non petendo, excluding only the initiation of court proceedings. [65]

Finally, the Court denied Wiko's motion to order a stay in the appeal proceedings due to the recent referral of several questions regarding the interpretation of the Huawei framework to the CJEU by the District Court of Düsseldorf in the matter Nokia v Daimler [66] . [67] According to the Court, it appears unlikely that the CJEU will establish criteria, by which SEP-based court actions against implementers engaging in delaying tactics would amount to an abuse of market dominance. [68]

  • [1] The action was extended to a third defendant, an individual person, who had served as a managing director for both aforementioned companies.
  • [2] Sisvel v Wiko, Higher Regional Court Karlsruhe, judgment dated 9 December 2020, Case-No. 6 U 103/19
  • [3] The claims for injunctive relief, rendering of accounts and damages asserted against the former managing director of the two Wiko companies were limited to the period of time until the end of its tenure; ibid, paras. 265-288.
  • [4] Ibid, para. 289.
  • [5] Ibid, paras. 284 et seqq.
  • [6] Ibid, para. 287.
  • [7] Ibid, paras. 290 et seq. Insofar, the Court made clear that a market dominant position ceases to exist after the expiration of the relevant patent.
  • [8] Ibid, paras. 292 et seqq.
  • [9] Ibid, para. 293.
  • [10] Ibid, para. 297.
  • [11] Ibid, paras. 297 et seq.
  • [12] Ibid, para. 299.
  • [13] Ibid, para. 299 and paras. 320 et seqq.
  • [14] Ibid, para. 301.
  • [15] Ibid, para. 302.
  • [16] Ibid, para. 303.
  • [17] Huawei v ZTE, Court of Justice of the EU, judgment dated 16 July 2015, Case-No. C-170/13.
  • [18] Sisvel v Wiko, Higher Regional Court of Karlsruhe, judgment dated 9 December 2020, para. 304.
  • [19] Ibid, para. 304.
  • [20] Ibid, para. 305.
  • [21] Ibid, paras. 321 et seqq.
  • [22] Ibid, para. 321.
  • [23] Ibid, para. 322.
  • [24] Ibid, paras. 323 et seq.
  • [25] In addition, the Court found that Wiko’s lack of willingness to obtain a license is also manifested in the fact that it (i) attempted to impede the enforcement of the first instance ruling of the District Court by questionable means (para. 335) and (ii) did not accept the offer of the District Court of The Hague, in which proceedings between the parties were pending in parallel, to engage in settlement negotiations (para. 336).
  • [26] Ibid, paras. 325, 328 and 331.
  • [27] Ibid, para. 327.
  • [28] Ibid, paras. 333 et seqq.
  • [29] Ibid, paras. 334 and 338.
  • [30] Ibid, paras. 337 and 341 et seqq.
  • [31] Ibid, para. 330.
  • [32] Ibid, para. 342.
  • [33] Ibid, para. 307.
  • [34] Ibid, para. 308.
  • [35] Ibid, paras. 308 and 310.
  • [36] Ibid, para. 309.
  • [37] Ibid, para. 310.
  • [38] Ibid, paras. 311 et seqq.
  • [39] Ibid, paras. 311 and 313 et seqq.
  • [40] Ibid, paras. 316 et seqq.
  • [41] Ibid, para. 352.
  • [42] Ibid, para. 353.
  • [43] Ibid, paras. 354 et seqq.
  • [44] Ibid, para. 358.
  • [45] Ibid, para. 359.
  • [46] Ibid, para. 360.
  • [47] Ibid, para. 361.
  • [48] Ibid, para. 362.
  • [49] Ibid, para. 363.
  • [50] Ibid, paras. 365 et seqq.
  • [51] Ibid, paras. 367 et seqq.
  • [52] Ibid, para. 366.
  • [53] Ibid, para. 344.
  • [54] Ibid, para. 346.
  • [55] Ibid, paras. 379 et seqq.
  • [56] Ibid, para. 311.
  • [57] Ibid, paras. 379 et seqq.
  • [58] Ibid, para. 380.
  • [59] Ibid, para. 378.
  • [60] Ibid, para. 384.
  • [61] Ibid, para. 348.
  • [62] Ibid, para. 389.
  • [63] Ibid, paras. 389 et seq.
  • [64] Ibid, para. 391.
  • [65] Ibid, paras. 260 et seqq.
  • [66] Nokia v Daimler, District Court of Düsseldorf, order dated 26 November 2020, Case No. 4c O 17/19.
  • [67] Sisvel v Wiko, Higher Regional Court of Karlsruhe, judgment dated 9 December 2020, para. 395.
  • [68] Ibid, para. 395.

Updated 20 10月 2020

Sisvel v Wiko

LG Mannheim
4 9月 2019 - Case No. 7 O 115/16

A. 内容




2016年6月22日、Sisvelは、1つの特許がLTE規格に抵触していることに基づき、Wikoを相手方として、ドイツのマンハイム地方裁判所(本裁判所)に訴訟を提起した(権利侵害訴訟)。Sisvelは、実体的事項に関するWikoの損害賠償責任を確認する宣言的判決とともに、情報及び計算書の提出を求めた。 2016年6月23日、Sisvelは、Wikoのドイツ子会社に対して自己のSEPのみを対象とする双務的ライセンスをオファーしたが、このオファーは、承諾されなかった。さらにWikoは、SEPの無効確認を訴えて、ドイツ連邦特許裁判所に訴訟を提起した(無効確認訴訟)。










本判決において [69] 、本裁判所は、Wikoに差止命令を下すと共に、侵害性を有する製品を市場から排除し、滅失させるよう命じた。さらに本裁判所は、実体的事項に関するWikoの損害賠償責任を確認し、損害額の算定に必要な情報をSisvelに提供するようWikoに命じた。

B. 判決理由

本裁判所は、Wikoの製品が係争中の特許を侵害していると認めた [70] 。係争中の特許の必須性は、両当事者間で争われなかった [71]


本裁判所の見解によれば、SisvelはHuawei対ZTE事件 [72] においてEU司法裁判所(CJEU)が定めた行動義務(Huaweiフレームワーク又は義務)を履行していたため、本件は支配的な地位の濫用にあたらない。これに対しWikoは、Huaweiフレームワークを遵守していなかった。


これまでの判例法から外れて、本裁判所は、権利侵害訴訟手続の過程で両当事者がHuawei義務を是正することが可能であるとの見解を示した [73] 。しかしながら、これには、CJEUにより要請される通り、両当事者間で圧力のない協議ができるようになることが必要である。このため、両当事者は、並行する無効確認訴訟において連邦特許裁判所の決定がなされるまで、審理停止の申立て [74] 又は同意を得た上での手続停止等の利用可能な手続文書を使用して、訴訟手続の一時停止を求めなければならない [75]

上記を背景に、本裁判所は、権利侵害訴訟手続開始後Huaweiフレームワークに基づき情報開示義務の是正を求めるSEP保有者に対し、審理停止を申し立てるよう求めた [75] 。当該申立てがなされた場合には、「誠実意思を有する実施者は訴訟手続停止に同意するであろう」と本裁判所は期待している [75]

本裁判所は、係争中の権利侵害訴訟手続の過程でHuawei義務の欠点を是正する機会を両当事者に与えることは、英国控訴院(Unwired Planet対Huawei) [76] とハーグ控訴裁判所(Philips対Asus) [77] の双方で採用された「セーフハーバー」方式に準じていると述べた。上記裁判所はいずれも、Huaweiフレームワークについて厳密に実施すべき強制的な正式手続とみなしておらず、したがって、CJEUにより定められた協議の枠組みから逸脱したとしても、必ずしも、特許保有者による差止命令の請求を排除する濫用的な行動にはあたらない [78] 。さらに、これに該当するかどうかは、ケースバイケースで評価する必要がある [79]



SEP保有者の各通知の内容に関し、本裁判所は基本的に、従前の決定と同じ要件を適用した。本裁判所は、当該通知において (1) 係争中の特許についてその特許番号を含めて記載し、(2) 当該特許が規格に必須として関連標準化機関に宣言されていることを通知し、(3) どの規格について当該特許が必須であるのかを示し、かつ、(4) 実施者の製品又はサービスのうち当該規格を実施する技術的機能を説明しなければならないと認めた [80] 。適切とする詳細の水準については、ケースバイケースで判断する [80] 。本裁判所は、原則として、特許保有者が、SEPライセンス許諾の交渉において慣習的に用いられるクレームチャートを実施者に提供することにより、その通知義務を履行したことになる旨を確認した [80] 。本裁判所はさらに、企業グループの親会社に通知が送付された場合、通常、Huaweiフレームワークにおいて十分であることを再確認した [80]


本裁判所は、SisvelがまたWikoに対して書面による明確なFRAND条件でのライセンスの申出を行うHuawei義務を履行していたことも認めた。各評価に関し、本裁判所は、権利侵害訴訟手続停止中にSisvelからWikoに対してなされた最後の申出である2018年オファーのみを検討した [81]

まず、本裁判所は、どの具体的なライセンス料や追加的な契約条件がFRANDの「客観的側面に該当する」のかについて、侵害を管轄する裁判所がこれを判断する義務を負うものではないとする自らの立場を重ねて強調した [82] 。カールスルーエ高等地方裁判所(superior Higher District Court of Karlsruhe)が以前に示した見解に反し、本裁判所は、CJEUが差止命令及び製品リコールに関する訴訟手続についてFRAND条件の「正確な数量的判断(precise mathematical determination)」を「負わせる」つもりはなかったとの考えを支持した [83] 。さらに、FRANDへの該当が見込まれる条件には「幅」があるため、差止命令の要求がTFEU第102条に抵触するのは、特段の交渉状況及び市況に鑑みて、SEP保有者の申出が「搾取的な濫用」にあたるような場合に限られる [82] 。すなわち、本裁判所の認識は、英国控訴院のUnwired Planet対Huaweiと共通であった [76]

上記にかかわらず、本裁判所は、権利侵害を管轄する裁判所がSEP保有者のライセンスの申出がFRANDに適合するか否かにつき、単なる「表面的」な評価ではなく、それ以上の評価を行うべきであることを明確にした。権利侵害を管轄する裁判所は、具体的な申出の全体的な内容について、両当事者の交渉上の立場における典型的な当初の違いにかかわらず、誠実に行為する実施者に対し当該申出に応じることを要求するものであるか否かを検討しなければならない [84] 。原則として、このような義務は、SEP保有者が自らの申出がFRAND条件での申出であると判断する理由を立証する方法でロイヤルティの算定を説明する場合に生じる [85] 。プールライセンシングプログラム又は標準ライセンシングプログラムが存在する場合は、通常、各プログラムが市場で受け入れられていることを立証すれば十分である。プールごとに十分な数のライセンスが許諾されている場合、特許保有者は、当該プールに包含される特許に言及した適切な数量のクレームチャートを提示して、当該プールの構成を概説すれば良い [86]

この状況において、本裁判所は、特許保有者の申出がFRANDに適合するか否かに関し実施者が申立てをする場合、原則として、個別の契約条項の違法性(の主張)を根拠として申立を行うことができない旨を指摘した。さらに、申出がFRANDに適合しているか否かについては、包括的な契約の概要に基づき評価しなければならない [87] 。例外が適用されるのは、特定の条項が「容認できない効果(unacceptable effect)」を有する場合に限られる [87] 。本件において、本裁判所は、2018年オファーのいずれの条項にもこのような効果がないと判断した [87] 。 とりわけ、本裁判所は、ライセンシー(ここではWiko)に申し出がなされたライセンスの対象たる特許の消尽に関する立証責任を定めた条項が許容されると判断した [88] 。同様の事件におけるデュッセルドルフ地方裁判所の見解とは対照的に、本裁判所は、ライセンシーがサプライヤーを関与させることによりライセンス網を追跡しやすい立場にあることから、関連の事実を確証するようライセンシーに要請することが適切であると論じた [88]

また、本裁判所は、提示されたライセンスの期間を5年に制限する条項が反トラストの観点から「容認できない効果(unacceptable effect)」を有するとは判断しなかった。本裁判所は、その5年の期間について、急速な技術の発展を特徴とする無線通信業界において実勢的な慣行に準じたものであると判示した [89]

さらに本裁判所は、ライセンシーによる報告義務の違反や30日を超える支払遅延が生じた場合のライセンス契約の例外的な終了を求める権利を定めた条項について、上記の「容認できない効果(unacceptable effect)」がないことを指摘した [89]

本裁判所は、2018年オファーにおいて、契約期間中、対象特許の数に変更が生じた場合に合意済みロイヤルティ料率の調整について定めた条項が含まれていなかったことに異議を唱えなかった。本裁判所の見解によれば、FRAND条件でのライセンスに当該条項を含めることは求められていない [89] 。しかしながら、プールを構成する特許の多数がライセンス期間締結後間もなく満了する場合には、例外が認められるべきである [89] 。一般的に、ライセンスの申出において、契約目的の履行不能性を理由にライセンスの調整を要請する両当事者の制定法上の権利(ドイツ民事法典第313条1項)が制限又は排除されていない場合には特に、「調整」条項がなくとも問題にならない [89]


FRANDライセンスの申出の非差別的要素に関して、本裁判所は、TFEU第102条においては、係争中の権利侵害訴訟手続において、被告に対する申出が同様の状況に置かれた競業者に比べて被告を差別するものでないことを証明する特許保有者の義務(二次的な)が定められているとの見解を示した [86]

上記にかかわらず、本裁判所は、いかなる事例においても上記の義務が法的に「全面的な透明性」を伴うわけではないことを明確にした [86] 。SEP保有者の反トラスト義務により、法的保護に値する被告の秘密保持上の権利が常に重視されるものではない。さらに言えば、個々の事例の特別な状況により、秘密性を保護しなければならない可能性がある [86]

本裁判所は、SEP保有者と同様の状況に置かれた第三者たるライセンシーとの間の既存のライセンス契約(類似契約)に定められた情報を特段に参照した上で、当該契約を開示する特許保有者の義務については、侵害を管轄する裁判所により、訴訟手続における両当事者の訴答を考慮した上で、ケースバイケースで判断されるべきであるとの見解を示した [86]

本裁判所によれば、特許保有者は、保護されるべき秘密保持上の権利の存在を確立しなければならない。類似契約に秘密保持条項が適用されるというだけでは、本来的には、特許保有者の開示義務の範囲を制限する根拠とはならない [90] 。これに対し被告は、特許保有者のライセンスの申出がFRANDに該当するか否かを評価するに際し、要請した情報が必要であった理由を説明しなければならない [90] 。被告は、SEP保有者の差別的と見られる行動を示し、具体的な事実を確証しなければならない [91]

この点を考慮し、本裁判所は、いかなる場合においてもSEP保有者が権利侵害訴訟手続において既存の類似契約書すべてを提出する義務を負うとのデュッセルドルフ裁判所の見解に異議を申し立てた [92] 。とりわけ、特許保有者が実施者との間で標準的なライセンス契約のみを締結している場合、当該契約の条件が公開されているのであれば、本裁判所には、訴訟手続において(膨大な)同一の契約書を提出する義務を特許保有者に負わせる理由がない。すなわち、それまでに締結した(標準的な)ライセンス契約の件数を開示すれば十分である [92]

したがって、本裁判所は、2018年オファーに際しSisvelからWikoに提出された既存ライセンシーのリストについて、ライセンシーの名が黒塗りされていたとしても、当該オファーのFRAND該否の確証に十分であったと認めた。本裁判所の見解において、Wikoは、2018年オファーのFRAND該否を評価するために既存ライセンシーの身元情報が必要であった理由を説明していなかった [93] 。さらに本裁判所は、Wikoが既存ライセンシーの身元開示を目的として訴訟手続が停止されている間、Sisvelから提示されたNDAの締結を拒絶していた事実も考慮した [94] 。2018年オファーのFRAND該否に異議がなかったため、本裁判所は、WikoによるNDAの締結の拒絶がHuaweiフレームワークを準拠する意思のないこととみなされるかどうかについて判断を下さなかった。しかしながら、本裁判所は、実施者が適切なNDAの締結を拒絶した場合は原則としてこれをSEP保有者の申出の評価に関連して検討すべきとの、この点に関しデュッセルドルフ裁判所が示した見解に同意した [94]

さらに、本裁判所は、ドイツ民事訴訟手続法(Zivilprozessordnung, ZPO)第142条に従い管轄裁判所により発せられた文書提出命令を通じ、権利侵害訴訟手続において類似契約の使用を促す可能性についても検討した [91] 。このオプションは、特に、類似契約に定められた秘密保持条項により、裁判所命令が発せられた場合に限り契約の開示が認められる個別の事例において侵害を管轄する裁判所により検討される。本裁判所によれば、当該秘密保持条項は、それ自体では反トラスト法に反するものでないことから、特許保有者が訴訟手続において保護に値する秘密保持上の利益を確証できない場合を除き、尊重されるべきである [91] 。特許保有者が、秘密保持条項の拘束を受け、審理に際し類似契約書を提出する意思がある場合には、侵害を管轄する裁判所は、各案件の具体的な状況に基づき、ZPO第142条に従い文書提出命令を発する [91] 。特許保有者が当該命令に従わない場合、当該裁判所は、Huaweiフレームワークにおける両当事者の行為を全体的に評価する上で、その行動を不誠実さの顕れであると判断する場合がある [91] 。ZPO第142条に従い発せられた裁判所命令に基づき類似契約書の閲覧が認められた後、実施者が訴訟手続停止に同意しない場合も、同様に適用される [91]


本裁判所は、WikoがSisvelに対し、正当な過程でFRAND条件の対案(カウンターオファー)を行うHuawei義務を履行していなかったと認めた。各評価に関し、本裁判所は、2018年オファーに対するWikoの対応に注目した [95]

本裁判所は、申出がFRANDに該当するとみなしているか否かにかかわらず(通常はあてはまる)、実施者が具体的な事実に基づき、SEP保有者のライセンスオファーに対応する義務を負っていると明言した [91] 。さらに、実施者は、各事例の事実、特定分野での業界慣行及び誠実な原則を検討の上、可能な限り早急に対応しなければならない [75]

Wikoが3か月を超える期間、2018年オファーに一切対応しなかったことに鑑み、本裁判所は、Wikoが上記の義務に違反すると判示した [71] 。本裁判所の見解では、Wikoは時間の引き延ばし戦術をとったとされる [71] 。本裁判所は、フランスの休校期間や、(Wikoの陳述によれば)ライセンス関連業務を担当した従業員がわずか2名であったという事実が、Wikoによる対応の遅延の十分な根拠になるとは認めなかった [95] 。国際的な業務に携わる会社として、Wikoは、今後、各問題に対処できるよう十分な人材を確保すべきである [95]

C. その他の重要事項

差止命令並びに侵害性を有する製品の市場からの排除及び破棄を求めたSisvelの請求とは別に、本裁判所は、実体的事項に関するWikoの損害賠償責任を認め、宣言的判決を下した [96]

本裁判所は、Wikoが係争中の特許を著しく侵害したと判断した。とりわけ、Wikoは、少なくとも過失的行為をなした [96] 。Wikoは、極めて複雑な標準化技術(特に、規格に組み込まれる膨大な数の特許)が極めて複雑であるため、知的財産権に関する状況を評価することが困難になった(よって、過失を除外すべき)と主張した。しかしながら本裁判所は、基盤となる技術がより一層複雑になったために、実施者側に対するデューディリジェンス要件がさらに拡大したことを明言した [97]

  • [69] Sisvel対Wiko、マンハイム地方裁判所2019年9月4日、事件番号7 O 115/16。
  • [70] 同判決、17~31頁。
  • [71] 同判決、46頁。
  • [72] Huawei対ZTE、EU司法裁判所2015年7月16日判決、事件番号C-170/13。
  • [73] Sisvel対Wiko、マンハイム地方裁判所2019年9月4日、事件番号7 O 115/16、42頁。
  • [74] 同判決、43頁及び51頁以下。
  • [75] 同判決、42頁。
  • [76] Unwired Planet対Huawei、英国控訴院2018年10月23日判決、[2018] EWCA Civ 2344、第282節。
  • [77] Philips対Asus、ハーグ控訴裁判所2019年5月7日、事件番号200.221 .250/01。
  • [78] Sisvel対Wiko、マンハイム地方裁判所2019年9月4日、事件番号7 O 115/16、44頁。
  • [79] 同判決、44頁。
  • [80] 同判決、37頁。
  • [81] 同判決、47頁及び53頁。
  • [82] 同判決、38頁。
  • [83] 同判決、37頁。以下。
  • [84] Sisvel対Wiko、マンハイム地方裁判所2019年9月4日、事件番号7 O 115/16、39頁。
  • [85] 同判決、39頁。
  • [86] 同判決、40頁。
  • [87] 同判決、53頁。
  • [88] 同判決、54頁。
  • [89] 同判決、55頁。
  • [90] 同判決、40頁及び49頁。
  • [91] 同判決、41頁。
  • [92] 同判決、49頁。
  • [93] 同判決、50頁。
  • [94] 同判決、51頁。
  • [95] 同判決、47頁。
  • [96] 同判決、35頁。
  • [97] 同判決、35頁以下。