On May 20, Judge Whyte in the Northern District of California issued his second FRAND-related opinion of the month, this time in Realtek Semiconductor Corp. v. LSI Corp., Case No. 5:12-cv-03451. According to the Court
This dispute concerns whether a holder of patents essential to an industry standard ("standard-essential patents") may commence an action before the U.S. International Trade Commission ("ITC") pursuant to Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 ("Section 337 action") seeking an exclusion order and injunctive relief against a party practicing that standard without violating its obligation to license the standard-essential patents on reasonable and non-discriminatory ("RAND") terms.
Realtek had moved for summary judgment that LSI and Agere had breached their FRAND obligations by failing to offer a license on reasonable terms prior to seeking an exclusion order from the ITC. Realtek also moved for an order barring LSI and Agere from enforcing or seeking to enforce an exclusion order. The patents at issue related to 802.11 wireless standards, and Agere had agreed to license its 802.11-related patents on FRAND terms.
On May 9, Judge Whyte in the Northern District of California issued an order in SK Hynix Inc. v. Rambus Inc., the latest opinion in an ongoing patent saga that has lasted a decade. Of interest to patent damages in Judge Whyte’s order was his setting of a FRAND rate as a sanction against Rambus for spoliation. Put differently, the sanction Judge Whyte determined was most appropriate for the spoliation was to strike any damages above and beyond a “reasonable and non-discriminatory royalty.” The rationale for this was to ensure that SK Hynix would not be “put at a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace.”
On April 25, 2013, Judge Robart of the Western District of Washington issued a 200+ page findings of fact and conclusions of law in Microsoft Corp. v. Motorola Mobility, Inc., Case No. 2:10-cv-01823 (Doc. No. 681), addressing a multitude of issues, but of particular interest, FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) rates for patents relating to two well-known industry standards. The standards at issue were the IEEE wireless local area network (“WLAN”) standard, 802.11, and the ITU advanced video coding standard, H.264.