Ericsson files legal action against Samsung

As if facing legal action over patents from fellow handset manufacturers, such as Apple, was not enough, Korean firm Samsung is now facing action from the infrastructure market after Ericsson filed a patent infringement lawsuit against the company. The Swedish vendor claims that Samsung refused to sign a license agreement on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms, despite two years of negotiations.

The lawsuit, filed in the United States, concerns both Ericsson’s patented technology that the vendor claims is essential to several networking standards and is used by Samsung’s products, as well as other Ericsson-patented inventions that are implemented in wireless and consumer electronics products.

Ericsson claimed that it has helped to create the mobile telephone system by contributing hundreds of its inventions to the standard in exchange for a fair royalty, adding that to date, the vendor has signed more than 100 license agreements with all major players in the industry.

Although Samsung previously licensed Ericsson’s patents in 2001 and renewed them in 2007, the Swedish firm claimed that those licenses have now expired.

“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,” said Kasim Alfalahi, chief intellectual property officer at Ericsson.

“The sharing of technology in the telecom industry is one of the main drivers behind this development. The telecom ecosystem builds on fair and reasonable terms that have created an attractive global mass market for mobility and broadband with Ericsson as a main contributor,” he added.

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