Samsung and Ericsson set aside their differences again, sign new deals

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Samsung and Ericsson have buried the hatched once again after the two companies have reportedly agreed to sign new multi-year global patent licensing agreements for cellular technologies. The two companies will end their ongoing patent licensing disputes as part of the new collaboration, and although most details remain under wraps, reports indicate that the cross-license agreements cover the sale of network infrastructure equipment and handsets from January 1, 2021.

Legal disputes are nothing new for Samsung and Ericsson, and they’ve been arguing over their interpretations of FRAND (Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory) obligations for more than half a decade, to the point where it kind of became the norm.

All the way back in 2014, Samsung agreed to make a one-time payment of $650 million to Ericsson to end their patent feud, and things went quiet for a while. But back in December 2020, Samsung found itself at the receiving end of a lawsuit filed by Ericsson again. The Swedish company claimed that Samsung has failed once again to meet its FRAND obligations, and this could lead to Ericsson losing anywhere between $119 and $177 million every quarter due to delayed intellectual property royalty payments, legal costs, and more.

Samsung and Ericsson ink new patent-licensing agreements

Fast forward to the present day and the two companies have reportedly set aside their differences, again, in favor of a more lucrative agreement.

The exact details of the multi-year agreement remain unknown, so it’s unclear if Samsung had to pay Ericsson any royalties. Late last year, reports indicated that Samsung may end up having to pay the Swedish company $200 million.

According to Ericsson Chief Intellectual Property Officer Christina Petersson, [Ericsson] is delighted to sign a mutually beneficial agreement with Samsung. This important deal confirms the value of our patent portfolio and further illustrates Ericsson’s commitment to FRAND principles.

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