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Court rules that Patent Infringement and Confidential Information Claim against Vodafone should go ahead

Posted on 14 January 2021

In a judgment handed down this morning, the High Court has ruled that a claim brought by two Spanish technology companies against Vodafone should proceed.  The Spanish companies, TOP Optimized Power Control S.L. and TOT Power Control S.L., are claiming that Vodafone both infringed patents and misused their confidential information in relation to a mobile telecoms technology solution they developed for outer loop power control.

The Claimants have previously sued both Vodafone and its technology partner Huawei in Spain, for a total of over €500m.  The decision of the Spanish court regarding whether Huawei is liable for misuse of the confidential information is currently under appeal.  Vodafone was seeking to stay the English claim against it, pending the outcome of that appeal.

Today's High Court judgment comprehensively dismissed Vodafone's application to stay the claim, ruling that there was no reason why the English and Spanish proceedings should not continue in parallel.  Reasons for this included that the appeal in Spain did not involve Vodafone (it only involved the claimants and Huawei), that any finding of the Spanish appeal court will not be binding on the English court and that the claims in England were clearly subject to its exclusive jurisdiction.

The judgment is another demonstration of the robust approach the English courts often take to challenges to their jurisdiction. Jeremy Hertzog, the lead Mishcon de Reya partner representing the claimants, commented "This judgment is important in permitting our clients to bring a claim against Vodafone relating to a key part of the technology in both its network infrastructure and handsets on that network.   Our clients look forward to now progressing that claim expeditiously".

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