Ericsson and ZTE settle patent lawsuits

Ericsson will receive royally payments from ZTE for access to GSM and 3G patents

Telecommunications vendors Ericsson and ZTE have signed a global cross-licensing agreement and both parties have also agreed to drop all pending litigation, Ericsson said on Friday.

In April 2011, Ericsson filed lawsuits in Germany, the U.K. and Italy against ZTE for infringing on patents related to GSM and 3G cellular technology, the company said. As is customary in these cases, ZTE counter-sued soon after.

But the two have now come to an agreement, and ZTE will as a result pay royalties to Ericsson, the Swedish company said without elaborating on details.

The news comes soon after Ericsson announced that it is reorganizing the company's licensing department in an effort to make more money from its patents.

Ericsson aims to increase revenue from licensing its intellectual property portfolio beyond the 4.6 billion Swedish kronor (US$676 million) its patents generated for the company in 2010.

The company's IPR portfolio includes over 27,000 patents. Today, any vendor that wants to use cellular connectivity in its products needs a license from Ericsson, offered under so-called fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, which is what ZTE now has, it said.

ZTE representatives didn't reply to questions about the agreement.

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
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