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Lava stopped from selling devices that infringe Ericsson’s patents

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In a another win for Ericsson, the Delhi High Court issued an interim injunction order preventing Lava from importing, exporting, manufacturing and selling phone models that make use of Ercisson’s patents and technology, reports SpicyIP. Note that this the fifth such case that Ericsson has fought with a mobile manufacturer for patent infringement, while securing an interim injunction against Micromax and Xiaomi in the past.

The court found that Lava is guilty of using Ericsson’s patents related to GSM, EDGE and WCDMA technology. Interestingly the report adds that the recent Lava order is strikingly similar to that of Ericsson vs Intex case in March 2015, wherein Intex was found guilty for infringing exactly the same patents as Lava.

Lava’s phone models used 8 different Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) and it did not sign any licensing/royalty deal with Ericsson for incorporating those patents, Ericsson argued in the High Court. However, the bench mentioned that Ericsson is “the undisputed owner” of the patents in question, and asked whether they were SEPs as claimed by it, the report added.

Lava argued that Ericsson did not provide it with correct technical specification of the patents in question, while the court overlooked Lava’s reasoning and all expert witnesses provided by it. Eventually Lava lost to Ericsson, after the latter maintained a strong prima facie with claims and affidavits to prove the essentially of the standards incorporated by Lava into its phones. Ericsson in fact mapped out the standards that Lava allegedly took from it, and supported the case with necessary tests, and provided expert affidavit wherever mandatory.

The report further stated that Lava had approached a Noida District Court wherein it agreed that the patents it used were in fact SEPs. Lava then requested the court  to direct Ericsson to grant them a license under FRAND principles. Negotiations had taken place between Lava and Ericsson in 2011, wherein Ericsson had approached the latter to enter into a licensing agreement for the SEPs that Lava was incorporating. The court agreed to the fact that Lava had requested for further technical information regarding the SEPs, while Ericsson maintained that they had provided all information as requested. The court then mentioned that Lava’s actions amounted to unwillingness to execute a licensing a deal with Ericsson, and found them guilty.

Ericsson’s previous law suits

-In May, the Delhi High Court had agreed in part with Xiaomi that Ericsson concealed relevant information about two of its 3G patents, and withdrew the interim injunction on Xiaomi that was issued by the court in 2014.

-In December 2015, Delhi High Court had extended an injunction against handset manufacturer Micromax to its subsidiary Yu Televentures for violating Ercisson’s patents. Ericsson had filed a patent infringement lawsuit worth Rs 100 crore against Micromax in March 2013. Interestingly, following Micromax’s complaint, in December 2013, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) ordered an antitrust probe against Ericsson for allegedly charging a higher royalty for its GSM technology patents.

-In April 2014, Ericsson had filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Intex for an alleged infringement of its Standard Essential Patents. This lawsuit followed an anti-trust probe (pdf) by CCI in January this 2014, after Intex complained that Ericsson was demanding an exorbitant royalty and unfair terms for its patents.

Image source: Flickr user Brian Turner under CC BY 2.0

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