An article on IAM this week concerned a forum organised by Sitao IP and IPCom, where the PRC's role in FRAND and SEP litigation was a key topic. 

One of the speakers was the former top IP judge of the Supreme People's Court, Kong Xiangjun. He astutely observed that where IP protection intersects with international trade, national interest would inevitably be of relevance. The unavoidable implication was that policy considerations will always be a factor in these cases. Further, market forces were likely to prevail in the current competitive environment, meaning that the PRC will naturally become a key forum for global SEP disputes. In practice, that meant the Chinese courts should focus on producing high quality and credible judgments, whilst closely following with interest any international developments. 

Huawei's Chief litigation also spoke, noting that these disputes should "follow the money". He also (perhaps surprisingly) spoke favourably of the UKSC decision in Unwired Planet (which was squarely against Huawei), explaining “I think the judges from the UK Supreme Court actually delivered an innovative decision, trying to consider business factors and that a global rate could rescue two parties from litigation battle to the benefit of business." 

It has been said that it is difficult for a court (or any tribunal) to stay uninvolved where the issues are commercial rather than legal - any decision that is reached will inevitably change the commercial calculus for other disputes. That said, the resolution of disputes, rather than their endless simmering, can only be a good development.