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Court of Appeal upholds rejection of forum challenge in follow-up to Unwired Planet


The Court of Appeal (Patten, Floyd and Flaux LJJ) has today unanimously rejected an appeal against the decision of Henry Carr J dismissing a challenge on forum non conveniens grounds in a case raising similar issues to those decided in Unwired Planet.

In Unwired Planet the Court of Appeal left open the question of the appropriate forum, as no challenge on forum grounds had been mounted in that case.

In Conversant Wireless Licensing v Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and others the Defendants argued that the claim ought properly to be heard in China, as the country of manufacture and which accounted for the majority of the Defendants’ sales. The Court of Appeal held that Carr J had been correct to characterise the claims as claims for infringement of certain UK patents, from which it followed that there was no available forum outside the UK. Even if the claims had properly been regarded as claims for the determination of the terms of a global FRAND licence, however, on the evidence that was not a claim which the Chinese court would entertain. The Appellants sought to introduce new evidence of Chinese law before the Court of Appeal under the Ladd v Marshall jurisdiction, but the Court of Appeal ultimately held that this new material did not advance matters.

In the event, therefore, the Judgment of Henry Carr J was upheld on all issues.

The Court of Appeal judgment is available here.

Colin West (instructed by EIP Legal) appeared for the Respondent.