Samsung & Ericsson End Long-Running Patent Dispute With New Licensing Deal

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Samsung has secured another front against patent attack by shelling out to renew an IP-licensing deal with Ericsson — settling pending litigation attached to the long-running dispute.

The agreement comes hot on the heels of Samsung announcing it has inked a 10-year patent deal with Google. So it’s evidently the season for IP-licensing-based spring-cleaning in South Korea.

Returning to the Ericsson deal, the Swedish network gear maker signed a cross-licensing deal with the Korean electronics giant today, Reuters reports — ending the patent dispute and boosting Ericsson’s Q4 sales by some $652 million.

The patent suit dates back to 2012, with Ericsson filing suit against Samsung back in November 2012 after nearly two years of negotiations to renew a FRAND licensing deal failed to bear fruit.

Samsung had claimed the royalty rates Ericsson was asking for the same patents it had previously licensed were “excessive” — describing them as being “significantly higher” than the previous royalty rate under the prior licence.

Ericsson has more than 33,000 patents covering key technology for 2G, 3G and 4G networks and handsets; and more than 100 license agreements with “major players” in the industry, according to Reuters. (A full list of the 24 wireless standards-essential patents Ericsson was asserting against Samsung in this specific dispute can be found here, on the FOSS Patents blog.)

Ericsson said the new multi-year license agreement with Samsung includes an initial payment and royalty payments for the term — although the exact level of the royalty has not been disclosed so it’s unclear whether Samsung had to back down on its claims of excessive royalties or not.

The exact length of the new patent license has also not been disclosed, but Ericsson’s Chief Intellectual Property Officer, Kasim Alfalahi, said patent agreements generally span between four and seven years.