Standard essential patents

HEVC Advance members sue Xiaomi and Vestel after MAS Elektronik success

After the recent win of patent pool HEVC Advance against MAS Elektronik, the former has now launched another wave of lawsuits over the video coding standard HEVC/H.265. This time four members of the patent pool are fighting with Xiaomi and Vestel. MAS Elektronik, however, has now taken a licence.

31 August 2020 by Konstanze Richter

HEVC Advance, patent litigation, Xiaomi, Vestel HEVC Advance members have launched a series of suits against Xiaomi and Vestel over video coding used in televisions and mobile streaming. ©9parusnikov/ADOBE STOCK

In a total of six separate lawsuits, four members of HEVC Advance are taking action against the Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi and Turkish television set manufacturer Vestel. The suits will be heard by the Regional Court Düsseldorf, 4c Chamber (case IDs: 4c O 42/20, 4c O 43/20, 4c O 44/20 and 4c O 49/20, 4c O 50/20, 4c O 51/20).

The plaintiffs are HEVC members Godo Kaisha, Mitsubishi, GE Video Compression and Philips, which accuse Xiaomi and Vestel of infringing their patents for the HEVC/H.265 standard. The technology enables the encoding of video content and images and is used in television sets and for streaming in mobile devices.

Previously, HEVC members Dolby, GE Video Compression and Philips had accused MAS Elektronik of infringement. In this case, the Regional Court Düsseldorf ruled in favour of the plaintiffs in June. Initially, MAS appealed against the ruling. According to JUVE Patent information, the defendant also applied for a stay of enforcement, but this was not granted. Now HEVC Advance has announced that MAS Elektronik has taken licences for the HEVC patents.

New IP chief at HEVC Advance

The patent holders once again opted for a mixed team from Eisenführ Speiser. The Hamburg-based partner Volkmar Henke had already won the dispute against MAS Elektronik.

Volkmar Henke, Eisenführ Speiser, patent litigation

Volkmar Henke

In March, HEVC Advance’s former chief IP counsel, Hasan Rashid, moved to HEVC member GE as associate general counsel. As a result, Henke is now working with Rashid’s successor Vic Souto, who joined HEVC Advance from InterDigital in May.

Xiaomi relies on a mixed team around the Munich-based Vossius partner Georg Rauh. MAS Elektronik also instructed the firm for its dispute against HEVC Advance. The team then was led by Düsseldorf partner Kai Rüting. As the current lawsuits are still quite fresh, it is not yet clear which of the firm’s patent attorneys will provide technical advice. The Vossius team will work closely with Xiaomi’s in-house lawyers.

Georg Rauh

Vestel also retained a mixed law firm, namely Grünecker. According to JUVE Patent information, a team led by Munich partner Ulrich Blumenröder is representing Vestel before the Düsseldorf Regional Court. In the past, the company has relied on other law firms in Germany, such as the Munich boutique Ampersand in the dispute against Starsight Telecast.

For HEVC Advance and pool members
Eisenführ Speiser (Hamburg): Volkmar Henke, Tilman Müller, Christoph Fehn (Munich, patent attorney)
In-house (HEVC Advance): Vic Souto

For Xiaomi (4c O 49 – 51/20)
Vossius (Munich): Georg Rauh (lead); counsel: Moritz Bloser, Zhuomin Wu

In-house (Bejing): Ziang Zhuang, Joseph Zhou, Vera Wang (London)

For Vestel (4c O 42 – 44/20)
Grünecker (Munich): Ulrich Blumenröder

Regional Court Düsseldorf, 4c Civil Chamber
Sabine Klepsch (presiding judge)