Lava may appeal Delhi High Court’s ₹244-crore penalty in Ericsson patents case

  • The court ruled in favour of Ericsson on 28 March, saying seven of the eight contested patents were valid, and told Lava to pay 244 crore plus 5% annual interest until it complied with the order.

Gulveen Aulakh
First Published4 Apr 2024
Ericsson had also filed similar cases against other smartphone makers such as Micromax, Intex, Xiaomi and iBall, some of which were settled. Photo: Reuters
Ericsson had also filed similar cases against other smartphone makers such as Micromax, Intex, Xiaomi and iBall, some of which were settled. Photo: Reuters

New Delhi: Indian smartphone maker Lava will consider appealing a Delhi High Court order that requires it to pay 244 crore plus interest to Ericsson for infringing on the telecommunications firm’s 2G and 3G patents.

A spokesperson for Lava International said, “Lava will explore all viable legal avenues, including the possibility of filing an appeal in response to the judgement. Lava remains focused on the. ‘Make in India’ initiative in support of the government of India’s nation-building program by designing phones with complete control on design and manufacturing within the country.”

The Swedish company had moved court against Lava in 2014, alleging it was using eight of its standard essential patents without a licensing agreement. It had also filed similar cases against other smartphone makers such as Micromax, Intex, Xiaomi and iBall. Some of these were settled, with the entities entering into a licensing agreement.

In the case against Lava, the Delhi High Court issued an interim injunction in 2016 against the handset maker, barring it from importing, exporting, manufacturing and selling mobile phones that use Ericsson’s patents and technology.

In its final order dated 28 March, the court ruled in favour of Ericsson, saying seven of the eight patents were valid, and told Lava to pay Ericsson 244 crore plus 5% annual interest until it complied with the order. It allowed Lava’s counter to one of the patents – for a linear predictive analysis encoding method and encoder.

The court said the damages were based on the licensing fees Ericsson would have earned had the two parties entered into a licensing agreement on a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) basis, a globally accepted practice in which handset makers pay royalties to use patents that are essential for implementing an industry standard or technology.

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