Huawei, Samsung, ZTE Named in New InterDigital Complaint

Huawei Technologies Co., ZTE Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. were named in a new patent-infringement complaint filed by InterDigital Inc. over technology related to the latest mobile-phone standards.

The complaint, filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, builds on one that InterDigital lodged against Huawei, ZTE and Nokia Oyj in 2011, which is scheduled for a hearing in February. The case includes new patent claims against Huawei, ZTE and Nokia and adds Samsung, which had previously licensed InterDigital technology.

Samsung Electronics shares dropped 1.8 percent to 1,548,000 won as of 12:13 p.m. in Seoul, while the benchmark Kospi index slipped 0.6 percent. The stock touched a record high yesterday and surged 44 percent last year.

InterDigital claims Huawei, ZTE, Samsung and Nokia products including mobile phones, USB sticks, laptop computers and components infringe as many as seven of its patents. It’s seeking an order that would prevent imports of the products into the U.S.

“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,” Lawrence Shay, president of InterDigital’s patent holding unit, said in a statement yesterday.

The company said it filed companion lawsuits in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware, seeking cash compensation for the unauthorized use of its inventions. That case will probably be put on hold pending the outcome of the ITC case.

King of Prussia, Pennsylvania-based InterDigital also announced yesterday that it had extended a patent license with BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. to ensure it covers 4G technology.

Huawei and ZTE are China’s two largest makers of phone equipment. Both are based in Shenzhen. Samsung, based in Suwon, South Korea, is the world’s largest maker of mobile phones.

The first patent case against Huawei prompted the Chinese company to file an antitrust complaint with European Union regulators. Huawei claims InterDigital has made “unreasonable and discriminatory demands” for licensing fees.

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