Ericsson Sues Samsung After Licensing Talks Fail10:52 AM EST Tue. Nov. 27, 2012
Telecom equipment manufacturer Ericsson has filed a lawsuit against Samsung, alleging that the Korean smartphone maker has infringed on a number of its wireless and networking patents.
Ericsson said the suit follows two years of failed negotiations between the two companies, throughout which Samsung refused to sign a license agreement under "fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory" (FRAND) terms to use Ericsson's technologies.
Many of the patents involved in the suit are standard-essential, Ericsson said, or those that must be used by handset makers to meet telecom industry standards. According to the Sweden-based company, all the major players in the mobile market license its patents today.
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Samsung had licensed Ericsson's technologies for years, but a deal the two penned in 2007 has since expired and Samsung now refuses to renew, Ericsson said.
"Ericsson has over 30,000 patents and more than 100 license agreements with all major players in the industry," said Kasim Alfalahi, Ericsson's chief intellectual property officer, in a statement. "Ericsson has tried long and hard to amicably come to an agreement with Samsung and to sign a license agreement on FRAND terms. We have turned to litigation as a last resort."
Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Ericsson's suit represents the latest legal spat for Samsung, which is already involved in a global patent war with smartphone rival Apple. Samsung in August was found guilty of infringing on several of Apple's iPhone and iPad patents -- a ruling that cost it more than $1 billion in damages -- and the two are slated to return to U.S. court in 2014 to battle a new set of infringement claims.
Ericsson, for its part, said its suit against Samsung was filed in the U.S. District Court of Eastern Texas, where its U.S. headquarters are located.
PUBLISHED NOV. 27, 2012