Samsung Electronics’ injunction lawsuit filed to the US International Trade Commission against Ericsson is based on four patents related to semiconductor manufacturing, TheElec has found.
Samsung’s import ban filed on February 4 is based on four of its patents, which it claims Ericsson has infringed on: Patent US 9,018,697, which is for pin transistor structure, Patent US 9,048,219, which is for semiconductor device and its manufacturing method, Patent US 9,748,243 which is on semiconductor device with contact plug, and Patent US 9,761,719, which is on semiconductor device.
The pair has filed two injunction requests against each other, respectively. The commission began investigations on one filed by Ericsson on January 1 and another filed by Samsung on January 9. It is yet to begin investigations on the one filed by Ericsson on January 15 and another filed by Samsung on February 4.
Samsung and Ericsson’s legal dispute stems from the pair unable to reach a settlement on how much royalty the former should pay the latter in their cross-licensing agreement over standard essential patents. Their former cross-licensing agreement expired late last year.
Ericsson has been in the telecommunication business since its founding in 1876. Samsung, in its lawsuit filed to the Eastern District Court of Texas, claimed that Ericsson asked for US$5 per one 5G device in royalties, but proposed that it will discount US$1 if Samsung agrees to sign the contract early. The Swedish firm also asked for 0.8% in royalty from Samsung’s total sales from 4G device within the range of US$4 to US$0.95 per 4G device, Samsung said in its filings.
Samsung is a follower in the worldwide telecommunication market. It had 4.6% market share in the third quarter of 2020, according to Dell’Oro Group, while Ericsson had 32% market share. Meanwhile, it is a leader in semiconductors, overtaking and falling behind Intel continuously as the runner-up in terms of sales.
Ericsson’s lawsuit against Samsung involved mostly the latter’s IT&Mobile business. Samsung is ran by three CEOs, each overseeing IT&Mobile, Consumer Electronics and Device Solutions. The businesses usually treat each other like separate companies, being strict on unit prices and performance standards when they deal with each other. But they will likely work in unison for the legal battle with Ericsson, a person familiar with the matter said. Ericsson’s lawsuit against Samsung filed to the court in Texas and the commission involves an injunction against Samsung smart TVs, which is sold by the company’s Consumer Electronics business.