Issue #2003 - 10
Interdigital Wins Against Ericsson & Others
The lengthy patent rights battle between Ericsson and Interdigital has been postponed again. The case where Interdigital claims that Swedish manufacturer infringed some of its patents in the production of handsets and network equipment was delayed until May of this year, according to reports in the Swedish press.
The US Company's claims over TDMA intellectual property rights first aired in 1993. The case was due to open on Monday, February 17th.
The US Company lost a similar action against Motorola 1995 but in 1999 Interdigital had its patents revalidated by the U.S. Patent Office. Also Swedish and German Patent Offices have affirmed the validity of Interdigital's patents since the Motorola case.
Ericsson insists that Interdigital’s patents were taken out on technology that was widely known about in the industry at that time.
In the 1990's Qualcomm had its CDMA patents revalidated and shortly after Ericsson offered and Qualcomm accepted a handsome settlement.
Ten years and counting
Ericsson and Interdigital first crossed swords ten years ago when the pair slapped lawsuits on each other, according to wireless consulting company BWCS.
According to a report in the Swedish business daily, Dagens Industri, Interdigital is said to be demanding license fees of between 2.5% and 5% on every single mobile handset sold by Ericsson since the early 1990s. In addition, the paper reports that the US company will demand between 1.5% and 3.5% of Ericsson’s mobile network equipment revenues for the last ten years. In money terms this would mean billions of dollars.
The lawsuit has long been the subject of speculation among Interdigital investors who frequent Internet message boards, because they think it could bring Interdigital hundreds of millions of dollars.
Interdigital is a serious developer of telecom technology. It owns technology that is being used by leading wireless equipment vendors like Samsung. It also working together with Nokia in the areas of wireless transmission of large quantities of data and TDD – Time Division Duplexing to solve the challenges of compatibility between TDMA, GSM and WCDMA. In 2001 Nokia paid Interdigital over 70 million dollars for its engineering services.
For more information: http://www.interdigital.com
MobileInfo Comments and Advisory: This
is a victory for intellectual property and patent laws in the free
world. Large companies have often ignored the legitimacy of such
patents when it affects their core products and services because of
the potential payout involved. Interdigital's persistence and
tenacity has paid off. Hats off to Intedigital. Ericsson, Nokia and
Samsung must pay up.
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