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LG sues China’s TCL in Germany over patents

Nov 11,2019
LG Electronics filed two patent infringement suits in Germany against China’s TCL over phone-related technologies, LG said Sunday.

In the suits filed in district courts in Mannheim and Dusseldorf, LG argues that technologies embedded in TCL’s feature phones and smartphones infringe on three of its long-term evolution (LTE) standard essential patents, patents necessary for the technology to work.

LG said it sent the first warning to Huizhou, China-based TCL in 2016 over the alleged patent infringement and demanded they negotiate but has failed to get a response from the Chinese electronics maker.

“LG Electronics has decided to file the lawsuit to protect intellectual property, which is the outcome of hard research and development, and to strictly respond to the unfair patent use of rival companies,” LG said in a statement.

TCL is estimated to have globally sold more than 15 million phones last year, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics.

LG filed a patent infringement suit over LTE technologies against American phone manufacturer BLU Products in March 2017 and against French phone manufacturer Wiko in June last year. LG said it reached a patent licensing agreement with BLU. LG has already won the first of three cases against Wiko.

“Intellectual property is the outcome of intense research and development and is the source of a business competitiveness,” said a spokesperson for LG Electronics in a statement. “[LG] will strictly respond to the acts of utilizing it without permission.”

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]