Ericsson Ramps Up Patent Infringement Case Against Samsung

By Joseph Mandour on April 29, 2013

Intellectual Property Infringement San Diego – Last week Ericsson Inc. added eight additional patents to its patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.   The original complaint, filed last November in a Texas U.S. District Court, was spawned by Samsung’s refusal to renew a license it had to 12 Ericsson patents covering various telecommunications devices and related multimedia equipment.

Samsung responded to the claims with a counterclaim alleging that Ericsson infringed on Samsung technology covered in 12 other patents.

Ericsson’s has denied Samsung’s allegations and the addition of the 8 patents brings the total number of allegedly infringing patents to 19.  The alleged infringements relate to technology used in products such cell phones, televisions, computers, Blu-ray disc players and camera equipment.

According to Ericsson, Samsung originally licensed to the technology in 2001, and renewed the license in 2007.  Then more recently, Samsung allowed the license to lapse while refusing to pay the same rates others were paying, or FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) rates.  Instead of FRAND rates, Ericsson is alleging that Samsung offered Ericsson a much a smaller amount.

Samsung also has its own standard-essential patents which Ericsson has refused to license.  Samsung is claiming that the terms and fees in Ericsson’s license agreement were not at all reasonable accuses Ericsson of engaging in a “pervasive and pernicious pattern” while failing to agree to FRAND rates.  Samsung further finds Ericsson’s licensing methods unfair and designed to attempt to extort a “vastly unreasonable and discriminatory” payment, due to its exit from the mobile device market.

Ericsson’s reply to the countersuit is alleging that Samsung is holding out from allowing Ericsson to access to the standard-essential patents until Ericsson agrees to a rate more to Samsung’s liking, and one that is a reduction from the FRAND standard rates paid by others.   Ericsson alleges “Samsung rejected Ericsson’s offers and has consistently refused to grant Ericsson a license to the asserted Samsung essential patents unless Ericsson reduces its offered rate to an unreasonably low level.”

In an effort to secure more favorable licensing terms, it appears that both parties are trying to increase the downside for the other in the litigation.  Thus far however, it has not worked.

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Posted in: Patent Infringement