Sweden's Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson has filed a lawsuit in four countries against Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., after the two companies failed to reach an agreement on royalty payments for the use of patents, an Ericsson spokesman said Monday.
"Unfortunately, we had to file the lawsuits because we haven't been able to agree to a renewal of our licenses with Samsung, which expired at the end of the year," said Peter Olofsson, a spokesman for Stockholm-based Ericsson.
The lawsuits were filed in Germany, the Netherlands, the U.K. and the U.S.
The two companies had originally signed a license agreement in 2002, allowing Samsung to use essential patents from Ericsson for GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications), GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution) technologies, according to Olofsson.
The Swedish telecommunications equipment manufacturer was one of several manufacturers, mostly from Europe, that created the GSM standard and continue to hold essential patents for the technology, he said.
Samsung could not be immediately reached.
Olofsson declined to say when the company expected to end the dispute or what amounts Ericsson is seeking.
Patent infringement and licensing disputes aren't uncommon in the communications sector where companies can spend billions of dollars on research and development and are prepared to sue to protect their investments.