Unwired Planet Soars on Samsung, Huawei Patent Lawsuit Victory

  • Patented technology infringed by phone makers, U.K. judge says
  • Unwired Planet wins first of six trials over Ericsson patents

Unwired Planet Inc. rose as much as 20 percent after winning the first in a series of London patent trials against Samsung Electronics Co. and Huawei Technologies Co. over technology used in mobile phones.

Judge Colin Birss said the patents were “essential” to 4G telecommunications networks in a written decision handed down today. Google Inc. was also sued by Los Altos, California-based Unwired Planet, but that case settled before trial, Birss said.

Unwired Planet has 16 employees and its only real assets are more than 2,000 patents, most of which were acquired from Ericsson AB in 2013. The value of those patents remains uncertain because it depends on the outcome of lawsuits and negotiations with phone makers over fees Unwired Planet charges to use the technology.

Today’s ruling “goes a considerable way towards validating the Unwired Planet portfolio,” the company’s general counsel, Noah Mesel, said in a statement. It’s the first time Unwired Planet has won a patent infringement trial.

The shares of the company were up about 18 percent at 95 cents at 11:10 a.m. in New York, the biggest gain since March of 2014.

Samsung said it was confident it had not infringed Unwired Planet’s patents and would “continue to take all necessary measures to prove that our products are built on our decades of research and development.”

Spokesmen for Huawei and Google didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

The EP (UK) 2,229,744 patent in today’s ruling covers status reports in wireless mobile telecommunications.

The case is Unwired Planet International v Huawei Technologies & ors, Chancery Division, High Court of Justice, Patents Court, HP-2014-000005.

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