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Patent spar between ZTE, Ericsson escalates to courtroom showdown

Brad Molen

Like nostrils, tensions are flaring between two powerhouses in the wireless industry. Ericsson and ZTE have chosen to trade off the role of both plaintiff and defendant, since each company is suing the other for several patent infringements. It's hard to say who the guilty party really is -- with the number of accusations flying around, it's possible everyone is at fault somehow. All we know is that Ericsson challenged its rival company to a throwdown once attempts to reach a licensing agreement failed two weeks ago. ZTE accepted the challenge and raised the stakes by filing a lawsuit of its own. It's not exactly clear what got the quarelling pair's feathers all ruffled, though it reportedly involves 4G / WCDMA / GSM network technology employed in each other's handsets. That sure narrows it down, doesn't it? At least we have a good idea of what's up for grabs: as is oftentimes the case in these types of tumultuous proceedings, the loser has to stop selling the products and services in question and fork over some cash for damages caused to the winner. Why oh why can't we all just get along?

[Thanks, Alex]

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