Ericsson sues Samsung as patent talks collapse

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Ericsson is suing Samsung Electronics after negotiations between the two equipment suppliers broke down and they failed to agree on a renewal of patent licensing conditions.

Ericsson said the legal action comes after nearly two years of talks with Samsung to renew a FRAND (Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory) patent licensing agreement on the same terms that it had previously accepted.

Ericsson said in a statement that it has concluded that it has no option other than legal action after talks have not been successful since Samsung has refused to take a license on FRAND terms.

The Swedish-based company said Samsung previously licensed the patents in 2001 and 2007, but after Ericsson extended an offer to renew the license for a third time Samsung refused to agree to the terms.

"The dispute concerns both 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," Ericsson said in a statement.

Without detailing which patents are involved, Ericsson said that the dispute centres on "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."

Samsung said it will "take all necessary legal measures to protect against Ericsson's excessive claims."

"Samsung has faithfully committed itself to conducting fair and reasonable negotiations with Ericsson over the past two years, but Ericsson has demanded prohibitively higher royalty rates to renew the same patent portfolio," the South Korean company said.

An Ericsson spokesman declined to tell Reuters the size of the lawsuit. Ericsson's intellectual property right net revenues amounted to €725 million in 2011.

For more:
- see this Ericsson statement
- see this Reuters article

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