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Sweden's Ericsson sued for patent infringement

Published: 12 Apr 2011 07:31 GMT+02:00
Updated: 12 Apr 2011 07:31 GMT+02:00

Swedish mobile network giant Ericsson is the target of a writ from Chinese telecom equipment supplier ZTE, alleging patent infringement and escalating a legal dispute between the two rivals.

ZTE launched legal action on Monday against Ericsson (China) Communications

Co. Ltd for allegedly breaching its Chinese patents on a range of products involving "core networks, GSM infrastructure and 4G infrastructure".

"ZTE has asked that Ericsson discontinue any act of infringement and bear legal liability in accordance with the provision of relevant laws," ZTE said in a statement.

"ZTE is fully committed to developing its own patent technology and respects reasonable patent requests from other vendors."

Ericsson has filed three lawsuits in Europe against ZTE for infringing the Swedish company's patents on mobile phones and infrastructure, an Ericsson spokesperson said earlier this month.

ZTE and Chinese rival Huawei have in recent years been pushing into overseas markets, eating into the market share of leading Western companies.

Ericsson, headquartered in Stockholm, has some 17,848 employees in Sweden and 90,000 worldwide.

It is the market leader in mobile network equipment ahead of Finnish-German giant Nokia Siemens, French-based telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent and China's Huawei.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:27 April 12, 2011 by karex
This is somewhat confusing: they are suing each other for the same thing? Isn't it just a simple matter of presenting the patent?
09:41 April 12, 2011 by jomamas
This has to be a joke.

China has absolutely no regard for IP, they steal all day long, in plain sight, with the help of the government.

Many western countries that do business in China are forced to give up their IP and know-how for access to markets - only to then be put out of business by a government backed entity.

It's happening right in front of our faces, and Western governments are too cowardly do do anything.

What do you call a person who has something taken from him, and then the thief sues the victim for some reason? A Swede.
11:03 April 12, 2011 by Atlas
@karex...It's a tactical method from companies to counter sue, since this kind of litigations go for years before any monetary damage will be awarded. It's just a way to stall judgment for as long as possible. Just an example, Intel vs. AMD , the case was closed i think some years ago, but it started in the 80s, more than a decade of litigations and only the lawyers on both sides were the winners, they got paid :)...It's a nasty business litigations, but that's how it works, you just stall your opponent(s)...

@jomamas...absolutely agree with you...IP rights are rarely enforced in China...Cisco was asked for example to provide the chinese goverment some years ago with access to their IPs related to firewalls and network gears...so they can verify the functionality...and of course Cisco said No...

Some yrs ago at Frankfurt Autoshow there were some chinese made luxury cars that looked identical to some Mercedes and BMW ones i think...They got banned in EU for the rest of their life after the german automakers complained.

As for Ericsson vs. ZTE, i side with Ericsson.
12:12 April 12, 2011 by China Prevail
@karex: This is purely political. Ericsson AB is trying to stop ZTE get into European Market while what ZTE did now is typical way of counter reaction.

@jomamas: your comments only reflect how ignorant and arrogant you are. Sweden is going down because there are too many pathetic guys like you. Luckily Ericsson is now treating Huawei and ZTE more and more seriously.

@Atlas: you support means nothing to this world. You are just one of the "small people" (quote from former Ericsson CEO Carl-Henric Svanberg), or maybe even lower than that, LOL
12:14 April 12, 2011 by apelsin000
@jomamas, @Atlas

You could just name the patents involved in this case, couldn't you? blablabla... doesn't boost your weak and biased arguments.
12:38 April 12, 2011 by xavidx
Thats what comments are all about. To give your biased opinion.

My biased opinion is to reform the patent and copywrite laws. The current ones suck.

so there
14:51 April 12, 2011 by Lostaussie
Companies do things like this to get cross licensing agreements, market access etc...nothing much will happen here.
17:16 April 12, 2011 by swedejane
A chinese company suing over patent infringement...that's rich. As if they actually develop anything innovative. So much easier to steal, copy, and mass produce inferior knockoffs (hejsan volvo!).
19:05 April 12, 2011 by Atlas
@China Prevail: it was just a personal opinion, that i know for sure won't matter at all. And just because it doesn't matter, doesn't mean i can't give my personal thoughts...

@apelsin000: Of course it is biased, i haven't seen the specific patents in question or at least some part of it. If you can find them, let me know, so i can give you an unbiased opinion if you want. Until then, i will state my preference as i see fit to my best judgment.

And btw, patents relate to GSM and WCDMA technology...
09:43 April 13, 2011 by aaww
@karex

that's a good idea, however in real world, telecom patents are so complicated that it is very hard for any normal third party to make a fair judgement.

thus the only way is to sue each other, and in most cases sign a reconciliation agreement.
10:01 April 13, 2011 by aaww
@China Prevail

you don't know what you are talking about.

Ericsson does not care that much about ZTE getting into the European market. if that is the case, E/// should have probably sued Huawei instead, for the reason that HW has far more market share than ZTE does in Europe.

the real thing is if ZTE wants to play fair in this market, they should follow the rules here, by giving complimentary network system equipments to operators and kick out competitor equipments isn't the right way to do, and will eventually make not only E/// extremely unhappy, Chinese Huawei will not be as enjoyable either
13:05 April 14, 2011 by China Prevail
@aaww: I am speechless as I am not expecting so many naive people here. ZTE has been making GSM and WCDMA equipments for many years, it is NOT a new vendor into the market. Why did Ericsson not sue ZTE many years ago when it is more easy for Ericsson to win the case?
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