ETSI IPR committee continues discussions on injunctive relief

Sophia Antipolis, 25 July 2014

The 19th meeting of the ETSI Special Committee on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR SC) was hosted by the German Federal Network Agency for Electricity, Gas, Telecommunication, Post and Railway, in Mainz (Germany) from 14 to 16 May 2014.

The meeting was attended by a large (75 participants) number of ETSI members, representatives of the European Commission's Directorates General Competition (COMP), Enterprise and Industry (ENTR), Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CNECT), and of the United States’ Department of Justice (DoJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as well as the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), and ETSI's partners: the European Patent Organization (EPO), the GSM Association (GSMA), the China Communications Standards Association (CCSA) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

The IPR SC mainly focused on the topic of injunctive relief.

The European Commission reported on the recent Commission antitrust decisions in the Motorola Mobility and Samsung Electronics cases which provide that, under EU law, injunctions are in principle available for all patent holders including standard essential patent (SEP) holders but can be restricted in exceptional circumstances based on antitrust law, in particular where the SEP holder is facing a willing licensee.

The IPR SC also noted the recent United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruling in the case of Apple versus Motorola Mobility.

The ETSI Members had the opportunity to comment and express their views on several proposals describing safe harbour conditions when injunctions could not be sought, and on high-level principles on injunctive relief.

Although no consensus was reached at this stage, the discussions will continue in the next IPR SC meeting to be held in Sophia-Antipolis, France, on 17 to 19 September 2014.