LG Electronics Inc. said Wednesday it filed a lawsuit against European smartphone maker Wiko at the district court of Mannheim, Germany, over alleged violation of its patent rights in the long-term evolution (LTE) technology. Wiko sold more than 10 million smartphones in Europe last year. The litigation marks LG’s second legal action against an overseas smartphone producer, after it sued a U.S.-based BLU Products in March 2017.
LG claims that the European company violated three of its “standard-essential patent,” including a core technology for preventing mobile handsets from disconnecting in areas with weak signals. Essential patent refers to technology that cannot be achieved without the use of the relevant patent.
LG said it made multiple efforts to reach a license agreement after first sending a letter of warning to Wiko in 2015, claiming the European company failed to respond to the requests. “LG will deal sternly with the use of its patented technologies by other companies without paying due royalties,” said Jeon Saeng-gyu, head of the tech giant’s patent center.
LG is the holder of the most standard-essential patents for LTE in the world. According to U.S. patent analysis agency TechIPM’s study of LTE and LTE-A standard-essential patents filed at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, LG was the top patent holder for five consecutive years from 2012 to 2016. As most corporations always include the United States when they file for standard-essential patents, the top patent holder in the United States is considered No. 1 in the world.
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