ParkerVision Inc. (PRKR), the patent licensing company run by CEO Jeffrey Parker, said a Regional Court in Munich, Germany, overseeing its infringement action against the German unit of LG Electronics, indicated it was leaning toward a finding of infringement in a preliminary ruling.
Jacksonville, Florida-based ParkerVision filed an infringement complaint in June 2016 against LG Electronics Deutschland GmbH for the infringement of the German part of European Patent 1 206 831 by LG's latest generation smartphones.
ParkerVision and other U.S. patent licensing companies have turned to the European courts especially those in the U.K. and Germany because they allow for the imposition of injunctions after a finding of infringement. In the U.S. courts, injunctions have become a rarity after the U.S. Supreme Court raised the standard for imposing injunction in eBay v. MercExchange. While an injunction in Germany may be useful to ParkerVision, the size of the German market means it won't have as big an impact on LG Electronics as it might in the much bigger U.S. market.
In Germany, separate courts oversee trials on the infringement of a patent and on the validity of a patent. The latter is referred to as a nullity court.
In August, LG filed a statement of defense arguing that, under its proposed claim interpretation, its smartphones do not infringe ParkerVision's patent. Qualcomm Inc. joined the proceedings on LG's side and filed a separate nullity action against the patent with the Federal Patent Court, Munich. Following these submissions, the Regional Court of Munich issued the preliminary opinion indicating its predisposition toward a finding of infringement.
A hearing in this case is scheduled for November 10, during which the Regional Court will hear oral arguments regarding claim interpretation, infringement, and LG's request for a stay of the infringement proceedings pending the outcome of the separate nullity action filed by Qualcomm.
The Regional Court may issue a final decision on the merits by mid-December 2016. A finding of infringement and a rejection of the stay request will result in the imposition of an injunction on the accused products prior to year-end 2016, which is enforceable upon provision of a bond set by the Court.
“While this finding is preliminary and not a guarantee of the Court's final decision, we are pleased with the initial findings of the German court as well as the timeliness of the Court's response to our infringement complaint,” Parker said in a statement.
Shares of ParkerVision gained 15 cents, or 3.25%, to $4.76 in mid-morning trading in New York. They’ve traded between $1.50 and $8.18 over the past year.
—To reach the reporter responsible for this story, please contact Dan Lonkevich at 707 318-7899 or at firstname.lastname@example.org