U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) revealed that it would open an investigation after Ericsson claimed Samsung Electronics had infringed on some of its patents in 4G and 5G wireless infrastructure systems.
Research firm TrendForce indicates that Ericsson is expected to have 26.5 percent share in the mobile base station market in 2020. Samsung will have 8.5 percent share in the mobile base station market in 2020.
Sweden-based Ericsson said the Samsung products infringing on its patents are on the tower side of cellular communications, including antennas, radios and base stations and core network products that wirelessly connect to mobile phones and other cellular equipment.
Ericsson, which filed its complaint with the ITC on Jan. 15, also sued Samsung in U.S. District Court in Texas with allegations of patent infringement last month.
Ericsson said in the filing to the ITC that if its challenge was successful, there would be “no disruption of already established cellular networks. Ericsson’s domestic and foreign production, coupled with products from other suppliers, will be able to meet domestic market demand.”
Samsung told the ITC that Ericsson, the #1 mobile base station supplier, had not provided factual support for that argument.
In a court filing, Samsung said that over the last two years, its U.S. unit provided thousands of 5G base stations to U.S. carriers including Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T.
The ITC said it has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. ITC will assign the case to an administrative law judge who will schedule an evidentiary hearing and make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation.
The last patent royalty dispute between the two companies was in 2012 when Ericsson took legal action against the South Korean company with allegations of patent infringements. Samsung in 2014 paid $650 million to Ericsson to end the battle.