updated 05:55 pm EST, Mon December 3, 2012
Hundreds of televisions, dozens of smartphones and tablets named
Potentially adding to Samsung's legal woes in the United States, Swedish telecommunication equipment manufacturer Ericsson has requested the US International Trade Commission (USITC) ban imports of products made by the Korean manufacturer. Ericsson claims that Samsung's products infringe on its patents, a claim it has also made in a lawsuit against Samsung filed last week in the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
"The request for an import ban is a part of the process. An import ban is not our goal. Our goal is that they sign license agreements on reasonable terms," Ericsson spokesman Fredrik Hallstan said. Ericsson said last week in its filing that it was suing only after patent licensing talks failed on standards-essential patents.
The two companies signed licensing agreements for the patents in question in both 2001 and 2007, with the 2007 agreement only coming after Ericsson initiated a suit in federal court as well as a USITC action. Samsung's products affected by the suit include "wireless communication devices, tablet computers, media players, and televisions, and components thereof" as well as the potential of adding new products as "discovery may reveal the use of Ericsson's patented technologies in other products." Specifically named in the suit are the Galaxy S III, The Galaxy Nexus, the Infuse 4G, and the Galaxy Note plus the Note II.
Patents at stake include radio frequency receiver technology, various wireless communication design patents, user interface technologies, modulation technology, and a battery of patents involving GSM, GPRS, EDGE, W-CDMA, LTE and assorted 802.11-related patents. Apple is a licensee of some, if not all, of the Ericsson patent portfolio being asserted against Samsung.
Samsung has said it will defend itself against the lawsuit. The manufacturer's legal team claims that Ericsson has asked for "prohibitively higher royalty rates to renew the same patent portfolio."