Back in January, we alerted you to a patent infringement case brought in the U.S. International Trade Commission by Acacia Research subsidiary Adaptix.  Adaptix accused Ericsson of infringing U.S. Pat. No. 6,870,808, which Adaptix asserted to be essential to the ETSI 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) wireless standard.  The ITC later instituted the investigation as

Back in 2011, Intellectual Ventures fired off a patent infringement complaint against Motorola Mobility in the District of Delaware.  That case is scheduled to go to trial early in 2014  But today, Intellectual Ventures upped the ante, announcing that it has filed a second patent infringement complaint against Google subsidiary Motorola Mobility, choosing this time

In a post yesterday, we discussed Nokia’s amicus brief submitted “in support of neither party” in the Apple-Motorola FRAND Federal Circuit appeal (Judge Posner edition).  The amicus brief recently filed by BlackBerry (formerly Research In Motion) is now public, and it is very similar to Nokia’s — at least when it comes to the issue of the availability of injunctive relief.  While not expressly supporting Motorola, BlackBerry echoes Motorola’s (as well as Nokia’s) argument that injunction relief should not be categorically precluded for FRAND-encumbered standard-essential patents.

[2013.05.07 BlackBerry Amicus Brief]

Coincidentally, BlackBerry also now finds itself on the receiving end of a new patent infringement complaint from Canadian non-practicing entity Wi-LAN, which is based on BlackBerry’s alleged infringement of a patent that Wi-LAN claims is essential to the ETSI 3GPP Long-Term Evolution (LTE) telecommunications standard.


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For the last few months, Samsung and Ericsson have been engaged in a wide-ranging patent infringement skirmish, both in the Eastern District of Texas and in the U.S. International Trade Commission (Inv. Nos. 337-TA-862, 337-TA-866).  Many of the infringement assertions in these cases relate to the 4th-generation Long-Term Evolution (LTE) wireless communications standard, as well as other wireless communications standards promulgated by ETSI and IEEE.  Earlier this week, Samsung filed its Answer and Counterclaims in response to Ericsson’s complaint in case no. 6:12-cv-00894 in the Eastern District of Texas.

Pulling no punches, Samsung not only accuses Ericsson of breaching its FRAND obligations (an accusation it has previously made), but also asserts additional patents against Ericsson — including patents already being asserted in the ITC.  And notably, Samsung also paints Ericsson as a non-practicing entity that is trying to engage in patent hold up — Samsung states that Ericsson “now feels unhinged as a non-practicing entity in the mobile phone market to extort vastly unreasonable and discriminatory license fees,” and that it “seeks to ignore over a decade of licensing history between the companies and to travel down a new road as an NPE extracting irrational sums from Samsung under threat of an ITC exclusion order.”  Rhetoric aside, though, the meat of Samsung’s answer is really about its FRAND-related defenses and infringement counterclaims.


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ITC LogoOn Friday, March 8, Ericsson filed the (redacted) public version of its answer to Samsung’s Complaint and the Notice of Investigation in In the Matter of Certain Wireless Communications Equipment and Articles Therein (Inv. No. 337-TA-866).  This ITC Section 337 investigation is based on a January 2013 complaint from Samsung that alleges Ericsson’s 4G LTE-compatible base stations infringe several Samsung LTE-essential patents.

Given Samsung’s assertion of standard-essential patents, it’s no surprise that Ericsson’s complaint includes FRAND-based defenses.  
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ITC LogoYesterday the U.S. International Trade Commission announced that it has instituted a Section 337 investigation titled Certain Wireless Communications Base Stations and Components Thereof, Inv. No. 337-TA-871.  This investigation is based on a complaint filed on January 24, 2013 by Adaptix, Inc. (a subsidiary of noted publicly-traded non-practicing entity Acacia Research) against Ericsson.  The

ITC LogoWe’ve previously covered the bilateral standard-essential patent battle brewing between Ericsson and Samsung in the U.S. International Trade Commission (as well as the Eastern District of Texas).  The ITC has instituted two investigations surrounding the parties’ claims: Inv. No. 337-TA-862 (based on Ericsson’s complaint) and Inv. No. 337-TA-866 (based on Samsung’s complaint).  Yesterday, Samsung filed the public version of its Response to the Complaint and Notice of Investigation (essentially, an answer to Ericsson’s complaint) in the -862 investigation.  Below is an overview of this filing, in which (surprise!) F/RAND-related issues and defenses have a starring role.
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Assertion of standard-essential patents are all the rage at the ITC these days, with an upcoming trial on InterDigital’s claims (Inv. No. 337-TA-800), another recent complaint filed by InterDigital, dueling Ericsson-Samsung complaints, and the highly anticipated Final Determination in ITC Inv. No. 337-TA-794 involving Apple and Samsung due in March.  And today, a company named Adaptix — a subsidiary of noted non-practicing entity Acacia Research — threw its hat into the ring, firing off a Section 337 complaint accusing Ericsson’s 4G LTE base stations of infringing U.S. Pat. No. 6,870,808, titled “Channel Allocation in Broadband Orthoganol Frequency-Division Multiple-Access/Space-Division Multiple-Access Networks.”  But this might not be your typical standard-essential patent case — it has a couple of twists.
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Early in January we noted that a non-practicing entity named Steelhead Licensing had filed a number of complaints for patent infringement against various wireless device manufacturers and cellular carriers.  Of particular note in those suits was that the patent at issue in all of the actions — U.S. Pat. No. 5,491,834, entitled “Mobile Radio Handover Initiation Determination” — was previously owned by British Telecom, is due to expire next month, and (according to Steelhead, apparently) is essential to various 3G and 4G wireless communications standards.  On Friday, January 11, Steelhead expanded its assertion activities relating to the ‘834 patent, filing infringement actions against Acer, Amazon.com, Asustek, and Dell.
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On Friday, January 4, 2013, a non-practicing entity named Steelhead Licensing LLC filed a litany of SEP-related lawsuits in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware against various wireless device manufacturers and cellular carriers.  Each of the entities is accused of infringing a single, soon-to-expire (on Feb. 13) patent — U.S. Pat. No. 5,491,834, entitled “Mobile Radio Handover Initiation Determination.”
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