Ericsson Claims Samsung Infringed 4G, 5G Patents

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Round two. Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson claims Samsung has infringed some of its 4G and 5G patents – US ITC says it will investigate

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has confirmed on Tuesday that it will investigate claims by Ericsson, that Samsung has infringed a number of its 4G and 5G patents.

“The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Ericsson Inc. of Plano, TX, and Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson of Stockholm, Sweden, on January 15, 2021,” announced the ITC, which said it would probe both Samsung Electronics and Samsung Electronics America.

It should be noted that this is not the first time that Ericsson has complained about Samsung infringing its patents.

ITC investigation

Back in 2012, Ericsson and Samsung went to court after the two companies failed to reach a licensing agreement for the use of Ericsson’s patents, despite two years of failed negotiations.

The Swedish manufacturer launched that legal action nine years ago, after it claimed that Samsung had failed to sign an agreement to use its patents, which it said was essential to several telecommunications and networking standards.

Samsung settled its legal dispute with Ericsson in 2014, when Samsung signed a cross-licensing deal that included a lump payment of $650 million, as well as royalty payments from Samsung.

But now seven years later, and Ericsson is once again alleging that Samsung products are infringing on its patents on the tower side of cellular communications.

This includes antennas, radios and base stations and core network products that wirelessly connect to mobile phones and other cellular equipment, Reuters reported.

Ericsson filed its complaint with the ITC on 15 January, and has also sued Samsung in the US District Court in Texas with allegations of patent infringement last month.

The companies did not immediately respond to requests to comment on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

Ericsson said in the filing to the ITC that if its challenge was successful, there would be “no disruption of already established cellular networks. Ericsson’s domestic and foreign production, coupled with products from other suppliers, will be able to meet domestic market demand.”

Apple battle

Samsung told the ITC that Ericsson had not provided factual support for that argument.

The US ITC for its part said it “has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case.”

Ericsson has also been involved in a legal battle with Apple, over a licensing dispute focusing on Apple’s use of Ericsson’s LTE patents.

That legal dispute was settled in late 2015, with a seven year deal that saw Apple pay ongoing royalties to the Swedish telecommunications equipment maker.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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