Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) and Chinese rival ZTE agreed to settle patent infringement disputes against each other and drop all litigation in the matter, the companies said, bringing to a close one of the wireless industry's many ongoing patent sagas.
The companies signed a global cross-licensing agreement, and ZTE consented to sign an agreement to pay Ericsson royalties for access to certain Ericsson patents. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deals. In a statement to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, ZTE denied that it was ordered to pay $647 million to Ericsson and was banned from entering the European market.
In April 2011 Ericsson sued ZTE for alleged patent infringement pertaining to several GSM- and W-CDMA-related handset and network patents, and brought cases in the U.K., Germany and Italy. ZTE then counter-sued against Ericsson in China. The settlement comes shortly after Ericsson publicly signalled it wants to monetize its patent portfolio.
In other Ericsson news, the company named a new CTO, Ulf Ewaldsson, to replace the outgoing Hakan Eriksson, effective Feb. 1. Ewaldsson, who has been with Ericsson since 1990, is currently the head of radio products in the company's networks business. He will be based in Sweden and will therefore not head Ericsson's Silicon Valley operations, which Eriksson had led. In a statement, Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg stressed the continued importance of the company's Silicon Valley office. Eriksson will become the head of the company's business in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.
ZTE sinks on rumors of patent loss to Ericsson, sluggish Q4 sales
Ericsson files patent infringement lawsuit against China's ZTE
ZTE 'astonished' over Huawei patent infringement lawsuits on LTE, data cards
Ericsson CTO Hakan Eriksson to step down from post