Mirimax seeks deal with Ericsson after lawsuit

India's Micromax promised on Tuesday to try to work out a patent deal with Ericsson after the Swedish equipment-maker sued the leading domestic handset maker for alleged patent infringement.

The company issued the statement after an Indian court Monday gave an interim ruling in favour of Ericsson, which had filed an $18-million suit against Micromax, accusing it of using its patented technology to make mobile phones.

The suit marks the first high-profile Indian patent litigation case amid a number worldwide, notably between Apple Inc of the United States and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co.

The court told Micromax to work out what is known as a Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory, or FRAND, licence agreement with Ericsson.

Handset makers often rely on technologies owned by other firms to make their mobile phones and conclude a FRAND licence agreement when doing so.

“Micromax is committed to negotiating a FRAND licence with Ericsson as Ericsson has undertaken to provide” such a licence to Micromax,” the Indian company said in an emailed statement.

Micromax was also told to pay Ericsson royalties of up to two percent of the sale price of the disputed handset devices and deposit the sum with the court.

A spokesman for Ericsson was not immediately available for comment.

But The Economic Times, a leading Indian financial daily, quoted the Swedish company’s lawyer, Pratibha Singh, as saying: “This case marks the arrival of big-ticket patent litigation in India.”

The two sides had been negotiating an agreement for over three years but had been unable to agree on a price for the technology, the newspaper said.

Micromax, which is India’s biggest handset maker and sells phones in over a dozen countries, declined to comment further.

AFP/The Local/og

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Ericsson suspends all Russia operations indefinitely

Swedish network equipment maker Ericsson said Monday that it was suspending all of its Russian operations over the war in Ukraine for the foreseeable future.

Ericsson suspends all Russia operations indefinitely

The telecom giant already announced in late February that it would stop all deliveries to Russia following Moscow’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

“In the light of recent events and of European Union sanctions, the company will now suspend its affected business with customers in Russia indefinitely,” Ericsson said in a statement.

The company added that it was “engaging with customers and partners regarding the indefinite suspension of the affected business.”

“The priority is to focus on the safety and well-being of Ericsson employees in Russia and they will be placed on paid leave,” it said.

READ ALSO: How has Sweden responded to Putin’s war in Ukraine so far?

Hundreds of Western firms ranging from Ikea to Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs and McDonald’s have stopped operations in the country since the invasion, with French banking group Societe Generale announcing Monday it was selling its stake in Russia’s Rosbank.

Ericsson has around 600 employees in Russia, and is a “major supplier to the largest operator MTS and the fourth largest operator Tele2,” a company spokeswoman told AFP, adding that together with Ukraine, Russia accounts for less than two percent of revenue.

As a result, the equipment maker said it would record a provision for 900 million Swedish kronor ($95 million, 87 million euros) for the first quarter of 2022 for “impairment of assets and other exceptional costs,” though no staff redundancy costs were included.
Ericsson is due to publish its first quarter earnings on April 14.