updated 04:15 pm EST, Tue November 25, 2008
Samsung settles lawsuit
Right before the US International Trade Commission was to make a decision on recommending to ban import of Samsung's high-speed data cellphones such as the Blackjack II and Instinct, InterDigital and Samsung have settled an ongoing patent infringement lawsuit. A Tuesday WSJ report says the two companies came to an agreement on Monday. InterDigital received $1.5 billion dollars from the likes of Apple and RIM largely from royalties from the use of patented high-speed broadband technology called 3G in their iPhone and Blackberry handsets, respectively. The two biggest cellphone makers, however, Nokia and Samsung, did not pay InterDigital and were consequently sued.
The settlement, which runs through 2012, constitutes of Samsung choosing one of two options undisclosed payment options within 45 days, the value of which was undisclosed. The settlement also covers 2G wireless technology, for which Samsung posted a $167 million bond in 2007. Both companies promise to drop all litigation and arbitration once the first payment is made. Telecom analyst Tom Carpenter at Hilliard Lyons, which owns InterDigital shares, estimates the value of the settlement at between $400 and $500 million over five years.
In the InterDigital lawsuit against Nokia, a judge is scheduled to hear evidence in May and rule in August, with an ITC ruling due in mid-December. InterDigital has already succeeded in a related lawsuit when, in 2006, it won $253 million from Nokia. Engineers developed InterDigital's patents in the 1980s and have since founded Qualcomm, which is itself involved in patent lawsuits. InterDigital now makes semiconductors.