Fredrik Hallstan, a spokesman for the Stockholm-based group, said lawsuits were filed in Britain, Germany and Italy on Friday, after several attempts to get the Chinese telecom equipment maker to sign a patent licensing agreement had failed. “This has been going on for many years,” Hallstan said, declining to give any details on the total sum demanded in the lawsuits or exactly how many patents are concerned. “This is a last resort.”
The Italian and British lawsuits regard handset technology, while the one in Germany covers both handset and infrastructure patents.
“We want them to pay going forward, but we also want payment for past usage,” he added.
Ericsson would not disclose how many patents it is accusing ZTE of infringing.
Ericsson is also asking the courts in the countries where the lawsuits have been filed to block ZTE from selling mobile phones that contain the alleged patented technology, as well as some network products.
Hallstan said this is the first time that Ericsson has mounted a legal action against a Chinese rival for infringing its patents.