Ericsson has sued competitor LG Electronics, accusing it of refusing to agree to a fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) reciprocal licence.
The complaint was filed at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, on Monday, March 19.
In its complaint, Sweden-based Ericsson claimed that it is “one of the leading innovators in the field of cellular communications”.
Ericsson said that because of its 24,000-strong research and development team, it has created technology that connects cellular devices, such as 2G, 3G and 4G and now owns more than 45,000 patents.
According to the claim, LG had previously licensed Ericsson’s standard essential patents (SEPs) in three separate reciprocal deals, relating to 2G, 3G and 4G technologies. All licences have since expired.
Ericsson alleged that it contacted LG in March last year, before the last contract expired, to renew a reciprocal licence.
However, LG refused Ericsson’s FRAND offer and has taken the position that the offer was not on FRAND terms, said Ericsson.
“Ericsson has been attempting to negotiate with LG to renew the parties’ reciprocal licence for nearly a year,” said the claim.
The Swedish company said that it had offered to renew its global portfolio licence with LG on FRAND terms but that negotiations have been unsuccessful because “LG refuses to negotiate in good faith, refuses to pay a FRAND royalty for a licence to Ericsson’s essential patents, and refuses to license its essential patents on FRAND terms”.
Ericsson also alleged that LG had infringed US patent number 6,633,550, called “Radio transceiver on a chip”, by continuing to use the invention after the licences ended.
The plaintiff alleged that LG had made a counter-offer for a cross-licence covering the parties’ entire portfolios of SEPs, featuring terms that Ericsson believed to be outside the range that other companies have accepted for a FRAND licence with Ericsson.
Ericsson is seeking damages from LG.