The European Court today provided further guidance on when the holder of a standard essential patent can apply for an injunction against an alleged infringer and in what circumstances the raising of injunction proceedings can amount to an abuse of a dominant position. In Huawei v ZTE the European Court essentially followed the earlier opinion from the Advocate General by telling the parties that they need to behave reasonably diligently in negotiations. Where negotiations break down they should consider referring points to arbitration or experts before raising injunction proceedings. The questions it does not answer, however, are points that arise in most negotiations: At what point have negotiations really broken down? When is the other side's negotiation purely a delaying tactic or otherwise unreasonable?
No doubt there will be further opportunities to rule on those points.
The full judgment can be found here