The patents war between Samsung Electronics and Ericsson rolls on. The Korean electronics company has announced that it filed a complaint last week against the Swedish telecom manufacturer with the U.S. International Trade Commission, requesting a U.S. import and sales on some Ericsson products. This latest action comes one month after Ericsson sued Samsung in the U.S. for patent infringement,and requested an ITC U.S. import ban on Samsung products.
The complaint was filed last Friday, according to Samsung. The company said in a statement that “we have sought to negotiate with Ericsson in good faith. However, Ericsson has proven unwilling to continue such negotiations by making unreasonable claims, which it is now trying to enforce in court.”
Last month’s lawsuit by Ericsson against Samsung followed almost two years of negotiations to renew a FRAND (an acronym for “fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory”) patent licensing agreement between the two companies. Twenty-four patents were involved in the litigation and Ericsson said at the time that “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 added that after Samsung licensed the patents in 2001 and 2007 the Swedish company extended an offer to renew the license for a third time, but Samsung refused to agree to the terms. In response, Samsung complained that the royalty rates Ericsson asked for the patents were “excessive.”
Ericsson’s profitability has taken a big hit this year, forcing it to rely increasingly on its patents for income. As noted on Foss Patents:
“While the two companies are no longer competing in the wireless gadgets market, Samsung is now also building a telecommunications infrastructure business. Samsung’s foray into Ericsson’s market is much less talked about than its Galaxy phones and tablets, but it’s starting to show results. For example, in August 2012, Samsung announced an LTE infrastructure deal with a UK carrier named Three, which it described as its “first commercial mobile network roll-out in Europe”, Ericsson’s home continent. I’m sure that at this point no one in the industry would underestimate Samsung’s ability to become a significant player, if not the leader, in a new segment of the overall market for telecommunications hardware. This certainly adds a more strategic dimension to the Ericsson-Samsung dispute.”