Ericsson and Samsung in patent wars as licensing talks collapse

City A.M. Reporter
ERICSSON, the world’s biggest telecom network equipment maker, said it was suing Samsung Electronics for patent infringement after two years of talks failed to yield a licence agreement.

Sweden’s Ericsson, which reckons more than 40 per cent of the world’s mobile traffic passes through its networks, filed a lawsuit in the United States saying Samsung had refused to sign a licence to use technology on terms it referred to as fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (Frand).

“Ericsson has tried long and hard to amicably come to an agreement with Samsung and sign a licence agreement on Frand terms. We have turned to litigation as a last resort,” Kasim Alfalahi, chief intellectual property officer at Ericsson said in a statement yesterday.

Alfalahi noted Ericsson has over 30,000 patents and more than 100 licence agreements with major players in the industry.

An Ericsson spokesman declined to comment on the size of its lawsuit.

Samsung said it will “take all necessary legal measures to protect against Ericsson’s excessive claims.”

“Samsung has faithfully committed itself to conducting fair and reasonable negotiations with Ericsson over the past two years, but Ericsson has demanded prohibitively higher royalty rates to renew the same patent portfolio,” the South Korean company said.

Samsung is also embroiled in a legal war with Apple in more than 20 disputes in 10 countries, with Apple alleging various Samsung smartphone and tablet products infringed its patents.

The complaint is filed in the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, the district where Ericsson’s US headquarters is located.