Micromax Complaint Sets Competition Watchdog on Ericsson; Another Twist in the Patent Fight

Homegrown consumer electronics company Micromax isn’t taking the patent suit filed by Ericsson lying down. On Wednesday, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said that it will probe into Ericsson’s alleged abuse of dominant position to charge higher royalty on GSM patents based on a complaint by Micromax.

The commission has ordered an investigation into the matter, news agency PTI reported.

Micromax, which has been sued by telecom giant Ericsson for patent infringement for Rs 100 cr in damages, had complained to the commission that Ericsson is asking for discriminatory & exorbitant royalty for GSM patents it holds.

Ericsson has 400 patents in India which span technologies like 2G, 3G & 4G. These patents are called standard essential patents (SEPs) and companies making smartphones usually come to a licensing agreement with Ericsson.

However, Micromax & Ericsson weren’t able to arrive at a consensus on the licensing price following which Ericsson went to court alleging patent infringement. These licenses are usually signed under the FRAND (fair, resonable & non discriminatory) terms.

The competition commission said that Ericcson was acting “contrary to FRAND terms by imposing royalties linked with the cost of the product.”

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