InterDigital is looking to create a storm in the patent realm of we've-been-here-many-times-before. The company has filed a complaint with the US ITC (International Trade Commission) against Huawei, Nokia, Samsung and ZTE. InterDigital wishes a ban to be enforced on US imports of products made by companies in question.
So what's this all about? InterDigital claims the companies have engaged in unfair trade practices by shipping certain wireless devices (running both 3G and 4G) that violate seven patents. While no specifics have been supplied, the filing reportedly points to mobile phones, USB sticks, mobile hotspots, laptops and tablets.
Lawrence Shay, president of InterDigital's patent holding subsidiaries, said the following in a statement:
"Wireless technology continues to advance at tremendous speed based on the contributions that InterDigital and others have made to core connectivity technology. For InterDigital, that effort represents roughly one billion dollars of research and development involving hundreds of wireless engineers over decades. 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."
Nokia's involvement leads us to assume that its Windows Phone family of Lumia hardware could well be in the line of fire, which would certainly be unfortunate for the struggling manufacturer. The ITC has just 30 days to come to a decision on whether or not it should launch an investigation into the allegations.
InterDigital has also filed an identical complain with the US District Court for the District of Delaware, with the goal of a sales ban and an unspecified amount in damages. Samsung has informed CNET that the company is currently reviewing the filings. InterDigital has reached out against Samsung and Apple in the past, leading to patent agreements being reached.
We've grown accustomed to seeing such headlines in the news, with each and every party taking swings at one another when an opportune moment arises. RIM has expanded an agreement with InterDigital for its patented technology to be utilised in the company's upcoming BlackBerry 10 hardware.
So we're on the battlefield of patents yet again. It'll be interesting whether or not these filings affect Windows Phones from Huawei, Nokia, Samsung and ZTE.
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