A Japanese non-practicing entity (NPE) has filed patent infringement lawsuits against Nokia and Ericsson using a patent it bought from LG Electronics.
IP Bridge claimed in its lawsuit filed to the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on June 11 against Nokia and Ericsson that the former infringed eight of its patents and the latter seven.
The seven patents filed against the two telecom kit makers overlap. IP Bridge bought six of them from Panasonic.
The one remaining patent was bought by the NPE from LG Electronics back in December last year. The patent, 9,769,820, is for: Method and device for setting a control channel and a data channel in a wireless communication system.
IP Bridge bought a total of eight patents related to telecommunication technology from LG, which means it could file more related lawsuits.
The NPE filed 14 patent infringement lawsuits in the US since 2015. Three of them are still ongoing.
LG Electronics currently has a total of 35,000 patents globally related to telecommunication technologies such as 4G, 5G and Wi-Fi. Out of the total, 22,000 are registered and 13,000 are applied.
The company will be spending 25 billion won a year to maintain the registered patents and for office actions for the applied ones, people familiar with the matter said.
LG has received offers from other companies to buy its patents. Chinese smartphone makers Oppo and Vivo, US hedge fund Fortress Investment Group, and South Korea’s Intellectual Discovery had made offers, the people said. Fortress is led by SoftBank.
LG InnoTek, a group affiliate in which LG Electronics controls a 40.79% stake in, has also been selling its patents recently. In February, it sold 123 of its patents related to wireless charging to Irish NPE Scramoge Technology. In April, Scramoge filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung in the US. The NPE has since filed similar lawsuits, against Apple on June 7 and against Google on June 15.
LG InnoTek also sold its LED patents to Chinese company Suzhou LEKIN Semiconductor. Those confirmed to be sold include 1,971 patents in the US. Filings to US' patent office showed 1,968 were sold but TheElec can confirm there is three more. LG InnoTek likely sold 10,000 patents related to LED to LEKIN.