Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Andy Thurai

Related Topics: Mobile IoT, Microservices Expo, Agile Computing, Wearables, Release Management , Cloud Security

Mobile IoT: Article

Ericsson Sues Samsung over FRAND Patents

The charge is a turnaround for Samsung, which is suing Apple for infringing its FRAND-pledged patent

Ericsson, the big Swedish telecom house, has sued Samsung, the big Korean conglomerate, in the plaintiff-friendly US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas charging patent infringement and breach of contract.

It said that after two years of negotiations involving the most senior management of both companies Samsung refused to renew a license for standards-essential patents (SEPs) that it was offered on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms so Ericsson "has turned to litigation as a last resort."

Samsung licensed the patents in 2001 and renewed the deal in 2007 but the license is now expired and it won't pay what Ericsson figures is a FRAND rate although it offered Samsung "many alternative FRAND royalty structures and frameworks" over the last two years.

Ericsson said it "believes it must take action to support a crucial system for technology sharing that has helped create today's mass market communications industry."

The charge is a turnaround for Samsung, which is suing Apple for infringing its FRAND-pledged patent that it can only license on grossly exorbitant terms, which is why Samsung is being investigated for so-called FRAND abuse by regulators in both the US and Europe.

However, it seems that Ericsson now finds itself in kind of the same situation as Apple. According to FOSS Patents, Samsung has refused to license its patents to Ericsson on FRAND terms.

Ericsson says "Upon information and belief, Samsung refuses to license Ericsson...any declared standard-essential patents that it owns in an effort to compel Ericsson to license its patent portfolio at a small fraction of the rates that its competitors pay. This position violates Samsung's FRAND commitment."

It is a charge FOSS Patents believes Apple will use in court to complain about its treatment by Samsung and how the Korean company wants to buy FRAND patent rights low and sell them high.

Not all the patents Ericsson wants Samsung to license are standards-essential. The rest, it says, cover patented Ericsson inventions that are frequently implemented in wireless and consumer electronics products.

Ericsson says it's helped create the mobile telephone system by contributing hundreds of its inventions to standard bodies in exchange for a fair royalty and has signed more than 100 license agreements with all major players in the industry.

In 2011 alone, it goes on, it spent $5 billion on R&D that resulted in hundreds of patented inventions that are essential to the standards that drive global communications such as GSM, GPRS, EDGE, WCDMA, LTE and 802.11.

It pointed out that it has one of the strongest patent portfolios in the industry with more than 30,000 patents worldwide and that it's "committed to licensing its standard-essential patents on Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) terms for the benefit of the industry."

Ericsson's chief intellectual property officer Kasim Alfalahi said in a statement that "By the end of 2012 there will be approximately 6.6 billion mobile subscriptions in the world. The sharing of technology in the telecom industry is one of the main drivers behind this development. The telecom ecosystem builds on fair and reasonable terms that have created an attractive global mass market for mobility and broadband with Ericsson as a main contributor."

Happily for Ericsson, which is seeking an injunction, its US headquarters is located in the Eastern District of Texas.

FOSS Patents says Ericsson filed two suits in Texas, one for infringement, the other on FRAND contract claims along with a demand for performance.

It wants the court to say FRAND pledges are an enforceable contract and that Samsung's refusal to license its SEPs on FRAND terms is a breach of that contract.

It wants damages for the breach of contract. And it wants the court to "enter an injunction enjoining Defendants, and all others in active concert with Defendants, from enforcing any patent claim that Samsung Electronics contends or has alleged in any context is necessary to implement a standard adopted by an industry standard-setting group" and it wants the court to "enter an injunction requiring Defendants, and all others in active concert with Defendants, to license any patent claim that Samsung Electronics contends or has alleged in any context is necessary to implement a standard adopted by an industry standard-setting group on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms to Ericsson."

See www.fosspatents.com/2012/11/new-ericsson-lawsuits-against-samsung.html.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...