Samsung Ericsson Patent Disagreement Set To Go To Court

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Ericsson sues Samsung after two years of failed patent negotiations

Ericsson and Samsung are set to go to court after the two companies failed to reach a licensing agreement for the use of Ericsson’s patents.

The Swedish manufacturer has launched legal action after claiming that Samsung failed to sign an agreement to use its patents, which it says are essential to several telecommunications and networking standards, on terms which it referred to as Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND).

The two parties have been locked in negotiations for more than two years, but Ericsson said that it has now launched legal action as a “last resort” after hoping the situation could be resolved amicably.

Samsung Ericsson court battle

Samsung has hit back, telling Reuters that it would be taking “all necessary legal measures” to protect itself against Ericsson’s “excessive claims.” It also said that it was committed to reaching an agreement, but this was not possible to the “prohibitively higher royalty rates” demanded .

Ericsson, which estimates that more than 40 percent of the world’s mobile traffic passes through its network, has been seeking to protect its patent income after sales of its networking equipment decline.

Profits fell by 42 percent during the last quarter as increased competition and reduced spending from network operators due to the global economic slowdown harmed Ericsson’s business. The company announced earlier this month that it was going to cut 1,500 jobs in its native Sweden as part of a cost cutting operation.

Its decision to launch legal action marks the beginning of another patent battle in the courts for Samsung, which was ordered to pay Apple more than £600 million in damages for infringing various patents in the design of various Samsung tablets and smartphones. A second trial with Apple is due to commence in March 2014, with both companies accusing each other of violating their respective patents.

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