The Unified Patent Court is seeing its first major dispute over mobile communications and SEPs. Panasonic has filed seven infringement claims at the court against various subsidiaries of Oppo and Xiaomi.
Panasonic filed the claims at the end of July. A UPC search website run by patent attorney Joeri Beetz shows seven claims are now pending at the court of first instance. According to JUVE Patent information, Panasonic has filed the cases at the local divisions in Mannheim and Munich. However, JUVE Patent does not know which lawsuit was filed at which local division.
Panasonic has accused Oppo and various Oppo subsidiaries of infringing four patents. EP 2 584 854 protects a technology for a ‘channel arrangement method and wireless communication base station device’ (case ID: ACT_546122/2023), while EP 2 207 270 protects a ‘wireless communication base station apparatus’ (case ID: ACT_545770/2023). EP 2 568 724 covers a ‘radio communication device and radio communication method’ (case ID: ACT_545551/2023) and EP 3 096 315 protects a ‘device and method for execution of Huffman coding’ (case ID: ACT_545604/2023).
Xiaomi and various subsidiaries are facing claims concerning EP 315 (case ID: ACT_545606/2023), EP 724 (case ID: ACT_545615/2023) and EP 270 (case ID: ACT_545817/2023). The patents relate to the 4G standard.
The tip of the iceberg
It is not yet clear whether the seven UPC lawsuits represent Panasonic’s entire campaign against Oppo and Xiaomi. Currently, there is still a time delay before lawsuits are published in the UPC’s CMS system. It is therefore possible that Beetz’s UPC search website has not yet been able to publish all of the lawsuits Panasonic has filed at the UPC.
With such a large-scale campaign, it is also likely that Panasonic will file national lawsuits in Germany and other countries. However, the company and its litigation representatives did not comment on the lawsuits to JUVE Patent.
First major SEP battle
Until now, owners of mobile communication patents have been very reluctant to bring UPC lawsuits. Only Philips enforced three patents against Belkin in the first few days after the court’s launch. The patents are relevant to the Qi standard.
With the seven suits against Oppo and Xiaomi, ten of the approximately 25 infringement claims at the UPC now concern standard essential patents.