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USITC to investigate patent complaint against Ericsson

Samsung's complaint is part of a larger patent fight between the two companies

The U.S. International Trade Commission has voted to investigate whether Ericsson has infringed Samsung Electronics patents related to wireless communication equipment, the agency said Friday.

Samsung filed the so-called section 337 complaint against Ericsson in December. Samsung is seeking a USITC order blocking Ericsson from importing some products into the U.S.

A Samsung representative declined to comment on its complaint.

An Ericsson representative said the company is aware that Samsung is seeking to bar its products from being imported into the U.S. "We filed multiple patent infringement lawsuits against Samsung in November after Samsung refused to license our patents on the same fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms that its competitors have accepted," the representative said by email. "We anticipate that the ITC will resolve the claims in our favor."

Ericsson has its own patent infringement complaint against Samsung pending at the USITC.

Ericsson filed two patent infringement lawsuits against Samsung in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in November. In those lawsuits, Ericsson asked the court to block sales of a variety of Samsung Electronics cameras, Blu-ray Disc players, televisions and phones, including the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note II.

Ericsson said it had negotiated for over two years with Samsung to reach a licensing deal on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms for the patents, which it claimed are essential to implementation of a number of industry standards.

The USITC will investigate Samsung's complaint and hold an evidentiary hearing in the case.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.


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