The world’s largest mobile phone maker Samsung Electronics announced on Wednesday that it filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) against Swedish networking equipment maker from selling some of its products.
Samsung accused Ericsson of violating seven of patents owned by the South Korean firm. Ericsson previously filed a complaint against Samsung with the ITC, requesting to ban some of Samsung’s products for a patent infringement case.
“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,” Samsung defended itself in a statement.
“The accused Ericsson products include telecommunications networking equipment, such as base stations,” Samsung added.
The key technologies involved includes electronic devices for data transfer and wireless communications, as well as radio frequency and LTE networks.
Ericsson is looking for ways to generate money from its patents after suffering significant drop in sales of its networking equipment, which saw a 17 percent decrease during the third quarter. The Stockholm-based firm’s move is now common in the industry, where each andevery major player protects their intellectual property as smartphone and tablet sales are booming.
While still the number one networking equipment manufacturer in the world today, the company is facing growing stiff competition from rival networking equipment makers including Samsung.
“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,” patent expert Florian Mueller said in a blog.
Mueller said that this new patent infringement case “adds more strategic dimension to the Ericsson-Samsung dispute.”
Samsung’s rise to the top spot in the lucrative mobile market is punctuated by constant patent disputes from rivals like Apple Inc. Both companies are locked in a legal struggle in 10 countries around the world as they vie to dominate the market.
Last week, Samsung was accused by the European Commission of abusing its influence in mobile technology following its request to exclude Apple from using its patent considered to be industry standard essential.
Last month, Ericsson filed a lawsuit against its South Korean rival after a nearly two-year negotiation to renew a FRAND patent licensing deal between them failed. Ericsson said that 24 patents were involved in the lawsuit. According to Ericsson, “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.”
It also added that after Samsung Electronics licensed the patents in 2001 and 2007, Ericsson offered to renew the license for the third time. Samsung found the terms unacceptable by claiming that that royalty rates being offered were “excessive”.