December 28, 2012
Samsung has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), asking the agency to bar the sale of some Ericsson Products in the United States.
Although Samsung filed the complaint Dec. 21, it just came to light this week.
The South Korean company is also claiming Ericsson is infringing on seven of its patents. The complaint is a tit-for-tat response after Ericsson filed a lawsuit against Samsung Nov. 27 for patent infringement.
Ericsson said it filed its claim after two years of negotiating over a licensing deal with no end in sight. Samsung licensed Ericsson’s patents in 2001 and renewed the license in 2007, but it has since expired.
The dispute is connected to Ericsson’s patented technology that is “essential to several telecommunications and networking standards used by Samsung’s products as well as other of Ericsson’s patented inventions that are frequently implemented in wireless and consumer electronics products,” the company said in a statement.
“Ericsson has concluded that it has no option other than legal action after negotiations have not been successful since Samsung has refused to take a license on FRAND terms.”
FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) terms are used by the industry to set standards for technology products.
Samsung, however, has a different take on the situation.
“We have sought to negotiate with Ericsson in good faith. However, Ericsson has proven unwilling to continue such negotiations by making unreasonable claims, which it is now trying to enforce in court,” Samsung said in a statement published by Reuters.
“The accused Ericsson products include telecommunications networking equipment, such as base stations,” Samsung said.
Ericsson, which has experienced a significant drop in sales at its network unit, is going the lawsuit route in a bid to preserve its patent income.
The company has, more recently, been put on the defensive by Samsung which is seeking to expand its share of the network equipment market.
This is not the first complaint Ericsson has filed. The company also filed suit against Chinese telecommunications company ZTE last year for patent violation. The matter has since been settled: ZTE renewed its license at the end of 2011.
Patent lawsuits are nothing new for Samsung, either. The company is currently embroiled in a patent fracas in 10 countries with arch-rival Apple as each accuses the other of copying one another’s mobile devices.
The companies are going head-to-head in a bid to dominate the mobile market.