Samsung requests US ban on Ericsson products

Samsung requests US ban on Ericsson products

Summary: Request comes in response to Ericsson's earlier request that U.S. International Trade Commission ban some of Samsung's products amid the ongoing patent dispute between both vendors.


Samsung Electronics has filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) requesting an import and sales ban on some of Ericsson's products.

The South Korean company's move last Friday was the latest in an escalating legal battle with the Swedish telecom equipment manufacturer, Reuters reported on Tuesday. Ericsson earlier this month had filed a complaint with the ITC seeking a U.S. ban on the import of some Samsung devices, including its Galaxy smartphones, tablets, and televisions, and also sued the Samsung for patent infringement.

Samsung said in a statement: "We have sought to negotiate with Ericsson in good faith. However, Ericsson has proven unwilling to continue such negotiations by making unreasonable claims, which it is now trying to enforce in court. The accused Ericsson products include telecommunications networking equipment, such as base stations."

Ericsson is facing a growing challenge from Samsung, even though the latter is a smaller player in the network equipment market. The Swedish company is suffering a big drop in sales for its network business, which dipped 17 percent in the third quarter. It is turning to courts to maintain its patent income, amid a growing trend which is seeing various large technology vendors protecting their intellectual property (IP) as worldwide tablet and smartphone sales skyrocket, Reuters pointed out.

In a separate AFP report, court filings showed the patent dispute involved Ericsson's claims Samsung was seeking to reduce the fee it paid to license so-called "standard-essential" patents protecting inventions incorporated into broader technologies used throughout the industry. Samsung, on its end, argued Ericsson's asking fee was too high.

Samsung is also fighting a renewed patent battle with Apple in at least 10 countries over their respective mobile devices. Last August, a California jury ruled Samsung infringed Apple's design and utility patents for some of its products and awarded the latter US$1.05 billion in damages.

Just last week, the European Commission lodged a formal complaint against Samsung for "potential misuse of mobile phone standard-essential patents".

Topics: Hardware, Legal, Patents, Samsung, Smartphones

Jamie Yap

About Jamie Yap

Jamie writes about technology, business and the most obvious intersection of the two that is software. Other variegated topics include--in one form or other--cloud, Web 2.0, apps, data, analytics, mobile, services, and the three Es: enterprises, executives and entrepreneurs. In a previous life, she was a writer covering a different but equally serious business called show business.

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  • if apple didn't ban most samsung products ....

    It's not ericsson that will....
  • Where are all the folks

    Who protest every single time Apple files something like this? All of you who say this blocks/inhibits fair trade and will set the evolution of technology back how is THIS any different? Oh wait, because Apple is not involved so since it's Samsung it's okay, they get a free pass... just like Samsung using child labor and enforced overtime at their plants and all of you so-called human rights activists are silent unless it happens at an Apple-used Foxconn plant. Cue the double standards!
    • I'm wondering who was the first to request this

      banning of competitors cell phone products.

      At this rate we'll be back to bag phones.
      William Farrel
      • Was it Motorola (now Google)?

        At least in the current smartphone wars. Nokia fired the first shot.
      • Nah

        We'll be back to using smoke signals... As much as I like iOS I'm tired of the ongoing legal battles - most of the tech used should be FRAND and used as such not as some sort of bargaining tool. And companies should not blatantly copy each other either - who the hell wants "me too" tech?
        • Do rounded corners

          qualify for FRAND?
          • Does dishonesty feature prominently in your posts?

            There was far more to Apple court action than round corners . . . but then again, you probably already know that but nonetheless continue to be dishonest.
      • This has nothing to do with Cell phones

        This is a ban on network equipment, Routers, Switches and Hubs which utilize Samsung patents covered by FRAND. Both sides are suing each other over FRAND issues and ultimately they will likely cross license. The question is if either will have to pay any cash to the other as part of the deal.
        Thomas Kolakowski
    • Nothing better to do.......

      The whole legal wars are just pathetic and stupid THB.
      I'm a Samsung product fan, but just produce the best product people (everyone), and let the consumer decide what they want.
      Who invented the car, but pretty sure more than one company sells them now......
    • if I punch you in the face

      and you punch me back, would anyone label your response an *overreaction*?
      • Depends on which jurisdiction the event occurred

        In NSW, you would have to justify that you used "no more force than was absolutely necessary". :-)
    • Actually, while I"m not an Apple fan....

      I've written a number of comments blasting Samsung for trying to use FRAND patents in this way.. and I'm hardly alone, the EU is investigating them.

      That being said, it has to be pointed out - the child labour allegations are exactly that - allegations. They haven't been corroborated. The forced overtime is being addressed by Samsung right now.. which, oddly, is being criticised by the workers at the plant to rely on overtime to make enough to live on.

      More than that, the average lineworker in a Samsung owned plant is about $24,500 a year and about $4000 to $8000 in China (Foxconn, for example), so they're ALL guilty of taking advantage of disadvantaged labour conditions, but Samsung's actual practices are significantly better than their suppliers'.

      Finally, no - no one is saying this is ok. You're engaging in selective reading if you that this is true. The difference however is that Apple (at least until recently) got the lion's share of the *positive* press. Samsung's only recently moved up to the point where they're even on the radar. Also, Apple presents itself both as the morally wronged party and as a willfully aggressive defender of their IP. In most of these cases, Apple fired first and more often. Samsung is seen as being on the defensive... so people are more likely to support them.

      And finally - as to stealing IP - in case you've not heard - two of the main patents in the Apple v Samsung case are currently being reviewed for validity. As well, Judge Koh, on reviewing the penalties and ban requests concluded that it was inconceivable that Apple's market share could have been affected very much by these patent infringements - or even that they even contributed to any market share loss at all leading her to reject requests from Apple for additional penalties. There's growing evidence that Apple tends to patent quickly and then litigates hard to protect patents which may not be all that valid... but a recent change to the review process changed that by allowing anyone with $17,700 to request a patent review anonymously.

      Except a lot more of these reviews.
  • Samsung's legal strategy is childish, but predictable

    It almost automatic. "Sue me?!?! Well, Double Sue on YOU,"
    • It's not just Samsung

      It's all of them - or to be more accurate it's the freaking slimeball ambulance chasing blood sucking lawyers. I almost wonder if they have some sort of scam going on between themselves to keep the tech companys at each other's throats just to line their pockets. In all of this litigation ultimately it is the consumers who lose. While I'm not a huge Samsung fan because of their blatant copying of Apple's IP with the original Galaxy Tab 10 and that their mobile hardware feels "cheap" to me - at least the Fascinate did - and I'm a proponent of protecting one's IP I've had it with the legal battles.

      I think all the mobile tech companies need to focus on making the best product they can without making a "me too" blatant copycat of another company's product and let the customer decide - not the courts.
      • "their blatant copying of Apple's IP"

        And Apple's IP is almost entirely a stolen product. Like pinch-to-zoom, rubber-band, FreeBSD userland, the GNU Bash default MacOS X shell, gcc and more
    • I bet, flyguy29, you'd be predictable too

      if I kick you in the groin.
    • Exactly HOW is this childish?

      Or are you suggesting that a sued company should just line up against the wall and take whatever happens?

      Samsung sues back because it's entirely possible Ericsson is violating their patents to the same degree. If that's the case, they can get Ericsson to back off and negotiate an agreeement for IP use in both directions.

      That seems entirely reasonable.
  • A plague on all your houses!

    That's about it, really.