updated 05:49 pm EST, Wed January 2, 2013
'Patent troll' renews legal hostilities against four manufacturers
Following the announcement of an extension of its patent license agreement with Research In Motion which added "coverage for 4G, LTE, and LTE-Advanced products," non-practicing entity InterDigital announced a new United Stated International Trade Commission (USITC) complaint against Huawei, Nokia, Samsung, and ZTE. InterDigitial is seeking "permanent injunction and compensatory damages in an amount to be determined, as well as enhanced damages based on willful infringement" of the company's patents.
"While the vast majority of our dozens of licensees recognize our contributions and choose to license our portfolio based on discussions alone, in some cases we're forced to resort to legal action," said Lawrence F. Shay, President of InterDigital's patent holding subsidiaries in a statement revealing the USITC complaint.
Key Samsung devices accused of violating the patents are the Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Note 10.1, Galaxy S III, Galaxy Tab II, and its 4G LTE mobile hotspot products. The complaints cover a large range of products from all the manufacturers including "certain 3G and 4G wireless devices (including WCDMA-, cdma2000- and LTE-capable mobile phones, USB sticks, mobile hotspots, laptop computers and tablets, and components of such devices) that infringe up to seven of InterDigital's US patents," according to the complaint.
Nokia, Huawei, and ZTE are already involved with a USITC complaint filed by InterDigitial. A complaint against the three was filed in June of 2011 and is still underway. Samsung and Nokia have been in and out of court with InterDigital over the last five years, primarily over 2G patents. Apple has historically chased quotes from Samsung's defense team against InterDigital to point out contradictions in Samsung's point of view between the two trials in its own patent battles with the Korean manufacturer.