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".