gavel on patent laws

Ericsson Sues Samsung in US for Patent Infringement

"This time Ericsson has demanded significantly higher royalty rates for the same patent portfolio. As we cannot accept such extreme demands, we will take all necessary legal measures to protect against Ericsson's excessive claims," Samsung said in a statement.

STOCKHOLM - Swedish telecommunications equipment maker Ericsson (IW 1000/135) said Tuesday that it was suing rival Samsung (IW 1000/15) in a U.S. court for violating patents, after two years of unsuccessful negotiations.

The Swedish group said it had failed to reach an agreement with Samsung on the renewal of an expired license that would have allowed the South Korean group to use its patented technology.

The Stockholm-based company said it had concluded that there was "no option other than legal action after negotiations have not been successful."

The dispute concerned both technology that is "essential to several telecommunications and networking standards used by Samsung's products" as well as other Ericsson inventions that are frequently used in wireless and consumer electronics products, it said.

Ericsson argued that the license agreements in question have helped grow the global communications industry by "driving scale and creating low barriers of entry to new players," citing more than 100 license agreements already signed with other companies.

The U.S. lawsuit was filed in a court in Texas, where Ericsson's American operations are based.

Samsung, which is already embroiled in a patent fight with Apple, said it would contest the charges.

"This time Ericsson has demanded significantly higher royalty rates for the same patent portfolio. As we cannot accept such extreme demands, we will take all necessary legal measures to protect against Ericsson's excessive claims," it said in a statement.

Samsung and U.S. giant Apple have accused each other of stealing the other's technology for their respective flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S and the iPhone.

In August, a Californian court found Samsung guilty of infringing several patents held by Apple, and slapped the company with billions of dollars in fines. The Seoul-based company has appealed the ruling.

Courts in Japan and the Netherlands acquitted the company of the same charges.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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