Free Newsletter

Samsung hits back at Ericsson lawsuit

Files two complaints in Texas, accusing Swedish firm of behaving like a patent troll and breaching contracts


Published: 19 March, 2013

READ MORE: US | Samsung | Patents/IPR | LTE

Samsung has responded to a lawsuit filed by Ericsson in November, hurling its own complaint at the Swedish vendor in the Eastern District of Texas.

Ericsson had accused the Korean firm of patent infringement in both the Texas court and the International Trade Commission after the two rivals failed to reach an agreement over renewing certain licensing deals. In December, Samsung retaliated by filing a complaint with the ITC, citing the licensing deals and seven patent claims, mainly related to LTE. Now it has added two Texas lawsuits to its attacks, one based on the same alleged IPR violations as in the ITC complaint and the other on eight other patents.

The new group of patents cited relates to a wide range of technologies including CMOS memory, semiconductors and various techniques for transmitting and receiving wireless communications. Samsung is also claiming breach of contract, accusing Ericsson of failing to respect FRAND (fair reasonable and non-discriminatory) guidelines in their licensing deal. FRAND issues are increasingly commonly dragged into legal actions where the defendant has significant IPR that is essential to standards, as Ericsson does.

Some of the Ericsson patents involved relate to handset technologies - the firm retained its intellectual property rights even after selling its stake in smartphone maker Sony Ericsson to its Japanese partner. In addition, Samsung is becoming a viable competitor in the infrastructure space with its rising success in LTE networks and some of the IPR it cites relate to base station platforms.

Samsung uses aggressive language in its filings, and basically accuses its Swedish rival of behaving like a patent troll because it no longer has handsets, but still asserts the IPR. "Ericsson has recently jettisoned its mobile phone business and it now feels unhinged as a non-practicing entity in the mobile phone market to extort vastly unreasonable and discriminatory licence fees from Samsung under threat of product exclusion ... Ericsson's misguided actions epitomize the patent 'hold-up' problem that has been the recent subject of wide discussion within standard setting organizations and other authorities around the globe."

Such comment refer to many of the most controversial issues surrounding the current wireless patent wars - the rising influence of trolls, and the willingness of some major vendors to behave as trolls, in the sense of asserting patents which are not relevant to their actual products; whether firms with standards-essential patents are misusing the power that IPR brings them, with unfair licensing terms or charges; and whether holders of those essential patents should be allowed to use injunctions as threats.

Related Stories


  • email story Email
  • print story Print
  • digit digit
  • facebook facebook
  • Twitter Twitter
  • Linked-in Linked-In
  • Comments (0)


Add Comment
No comments yet. Be the first to add a comment!

    BYOD: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    An in-depth insight into the rise of BYOD policies within the enterprise and analysis of the impact the trend will have on IT departments,...

    Voice Command, Control and Search on Mobile Phones: Market Analysis & Forecasts

    This report provides a comprehensive insight into the growing importance of voice command, control and search on handsets, analysing...

    Data Centre Network Equipment: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    This report provides a global assessment of the data centre network equipment market. Besides assessing the key market trends, sub-markets...

    HetNet Market Summary & Forecasts: Macro Cells, Small Cells & Wi-Fi Offload

    Carriers are struggling to cope with the explosion of data traffic on their networks, and the additional deployment of LTE and legacy...

    Over-the-Top Communications: Threats & Opportunities for Mobile Operators

    This report examines the implications of widespread adoption of mobile over-the-top IP communications for mobile operators, handset...

    Portable Gaming Consoles: Market Analysis and Forecasts

    This report provides a global assessment of the PGC market. In addition to assessing the key market drivers, market barriers, vendor...

    Satellite Phones: Will Dual Mode Help the Phoenix Rise from the Ashes?

    Satellite phones have followed an arduous path since their much-hyped launch more than a decade ago. The hype was followed by an e...

    Mobile Widget Platform Market Analysis: Understanding the Business Case and ROI

    This white paper presents an analysis of the mobile widget platform market, as well as metrics supporting a mobile carrier?s busin...


You must be a registered user to post a comment. or
Username *
Email *
Comment *