Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

U-Blox files patent lawsuit against Interdigital

Steve Rogerson
January 8, 2019
Swiss wireless technology company U-Blox has filed a lawsuit against Interdigital in the United States District Court for Southern California to obtain a “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND)” licence to Interdigital’s patents.
This follows two years of failed negotiations. A U-Blox statement said that despite its legal obligation to do so, Delaware-based Interdigital failed to offer U-Blox a FRAND licence agreement covering the sale of U-Blox 2G, 3G and 4G products.
“U-Blox respects the intellectual property rights of others and has always been and continues to be a willing licensee to standard essential patents,” said Thomas Seiler, CEO of U-Blox. “It is how we do business. We have therefore asked a court to review and determine the FRAND rate for the patents held by Interdigital. U-Blox is a committed licensor for the benefit of our customers and we believe that our willingness to license also positively distinguishes U-Blox within the module industry. To the extent that Interdigital is willing to reconsider their position, U-Blox is open to further negotiations, but not to the detriment of the company, our customers or shareholders.”
Concurrent to filing the lawsuit, U-Blox has also asked the court for an immediate temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against Interdigital to avoid any disruption to its existing business relationships.
Patrick Van de Wille, chief communications officer at Interdigital, responded: “We’re disappointed that U-Blox has resorted to litigation rather than continuing to discuss a further extension of its licence. We remain perfectly willing to negotiate in good faith with U-Blox for a licence to our cellular patents on FRAND terms and conditions, and even to go to arbitration if we can’t reach agreement. Any assertions by U-Blox to the contrary are without merit.”
U-Blox provides positioning and wireless communications technologies for the automotive, industrial and consumer markets. Its products let people, vehicles and machines determine their precise position and communicate wirelessly over cellular and short range networks.
With a portfolio of chips, modules and a growing ecosystem of product supporting data services, U-Blox says it is uniquely positioned to empower its customers to develop innovations for the IoT, quickly and cost-effectively. With headquarters in Thalwil, Switzerland, the company has offices in Europe, Asia and the USA.
Founded in 1972, InterDigital develops mobile technologies that are at the core of devices, networks and services worldwide. It has licences and strategic relationships with many wireless companies.