Ericsson Slaps Samsung With Patent Suit
In the smartphone patent wars, Samsung seems beset on all sides. It is embroiled in patent litigation with Apple across the globe, and now Ericsson is coming after it, as well. On Tuesday, the mobile network infrastructure manufacturer sued Samsung for patent infringement, claiming that the company continues to use its mobile technology patents even though its licensing agreement has expired.
Ericsson said the suit follows two years of failed negotiations with Samsung, during which the South Korean company sought to significantly reduce the licensing fees it pays to license Ericsson’s IP under so-called fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) terms.
“Ericsson has tried long and hard to amicably come to an agreement with Samsung and to sign a license agreement on FRAND terms,” Ericsson’s chief intellectual property officer, Kasim Alfalahi, said in a statement. “We have turned to litigation as a last resort.”
Samsung, for its part, says that it would like to license Ericsson’s patents on FRAND terms, but that’s not what the company is offering. “Ericsson has demanded prohibitively higher royalty rates to renew the same patent portfolio,” Samsung said in a statement of its own. “As we cannot accept such extreme demands, we will take all necessary legal measures to protect against Ericsson’s excessive claims.”
Better get those ready, Samsung, because Ericsson isn’t messing around here. It alleges that Samsung has sold “hundreds of millions” of unlicensed devices since the expiration of its previous agreement, and it’s seeking damages on all of them, as well as an injunction against the infringing products themselves.