According to Ericsson, Lenovo has refused to negotiate a suitable licensing agreement for over a decade
Ericsson has filed a lawsuit against Lenovo and its mobile phone subsidiary Motorola, accusing it of a potential infringement of its 5G patent portfolio in 11 areas.
Ericsson claims that two companies have not been able to agree on the terms of various licenses for over a decade, yet Lenovo continues to use its technology. Therefore, Ericsson has concluded that both Lenovo and Motorola Mobility are in breach of patent law.
The Swedish telecoms equipment specialist said it first contacted Lenovo back in 2008, notifying the company that some of its products – which today includes mobile phones, tables, laptops and personal computers – were using Ericsson’s 2G and 3G intellectual property (IP).
Ericsson reportedly offered Lenovo a cross-licencing agreement to settle the matter in 2010, which would see both parties grant licences for each other’s IP and Lenovo paying a net sum to Ericsson for both current and historical usage of these patents.
Lenovo, however, asked that past royalty fees owed to Ericsson be waived for the unlicenced products already sold by Lenovo – terms which were not agreeable to Ericsson, leaving the two at legal loggerheads ever since.
“Ericsson’s annual investments in R&D of around $4 billion have led to our leading global position in 5G and a leading 5G patent portfolio. The possibility for fair compensation through patent licensing is important to ensure new investments in innovation that benefit our customers and consumers everywhere,” said Ericsson in a statement.
Patent licencing is a major money maker for Ericsson and lawsuits of this kind are, as a result, far from uncommon.
At the end of last year, Ericsson announced that it has ended its long-running 5G patent battle with Apple, with experts estimating that the news will result in Apple having to pay Ericsson around $100 million per quarter. This has helped Ericsson to record a huge increase in patent licensing revenues, which totalled $289 million in this second quarter of this year compared to $132 million this time last year.
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