United Kingdom

On behalf of the team

Mobile phone SIM card maker Gemalto is trying to claim damages from Infineon Technologies and Renesas Electronics for their participation in the smartcard chip cartel, and for which they were fined by the EC in 2014. On 31 March, a judge of the High Court ordered that the defence of the cartel members that the claim is time-barred should be decided on first as that would save time and costs. The defendants have argued that the limitation period started to run as of the second request for information from the EC to the cartel members in 2012. The names of the (suspected) cartel members were included in the request and that should have been a trigger for Gemalto to investigate whether it had a cause of action and start litigation, according to the defendants. Gemalto stated in its defence that at that stage, it could only be aware of the fact that these parties were suspected of forming a cartel and an investigation was ongoing, not that a cartel existed. The case will proceed only if and after it will be proven that the claim is not time-barred.[1]

[1] The case reference is CP-2019-000027 Gemalto NV and others v. Infineon Technologies AG and others.