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Core Wireless Licensing (“Core”) asserted five patents related to UTMS, GSM, GPRS, EGPRS and LTE against LG Electronics France (“LGEF”) and LG Electronics Inc. (“LGEI”). In a ruling dated 17 April 2015, the Paris Court of First Instance ruled that none of the patents were essential to the standards and dismissed Core’s claims.

In a motion presented during the appeal proceedings, LGEF and LGEI requested the disclosure of the documents, namely the agreements between Core and the previous owners of the patents and those between Nokia and Qualcomm, as well as all the attachments. The defendants aimed to verify whether Core was the owner of the asserted patents, to establish an exhaustion of rights and to determine whether the patents were pledged in order to assess the FRAND rate.

In a ruling dated 17 January 2017, the Paris Court of Appeal dismissed their claims and ordered LGEF and LGEI to pay 3,000 euros as a reimbursement of Core attorney fees and to pay Core’s legal costs. The Court ruled that the disclosed documents were sufficient to establish that Core was the owner of the patents, since there were no hints showing otherwise. As to the exhaustion of rights, the Court reiterated that the burden of proof was on LGEF and LGEI and ruled that the sole press release was insufficient, since the scope and the territorial extent were not specified.

As to the requested documents to determine if the patents were pledged, the Court considered that their disclosure was premature, since the essentiality has to be established before determining the method of calculation of the FRAND rate.

A copy of the decision can be read here.

Headnote: Axelle Collin and Catherine Mateu, Armengaud Guerlain