South Korea’s LG Electronics and its American subsidiary, LG Electronics Mobilecomm U.S.A. have been asked to pay $3.5 million in damages to a subsidiary of Conversant Intellectual Property Management called Core Wireless Licensing, for alleged violation of two smartphone UI-related patents held by the company. A jury in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas awarded the amount to the Canadian company for past damages based on a calculation of 10¢ per unit in royalty payment. The CEO of Conversant, Mr. John Lindgren, released a statement expressing his satisfaction at the verdict and thanked “the court and the jury for their efforts in ensuring that LG compensates Core Wireless for the value of the inventions they are using”.
Core Wireless has a history of suing tech companies for alleged violations of its intellectual property rights, and LG Electronics certainly isn’t the first company to be taken to court by the Canadian patent-licensing firm. Back in 2012, the company had filed a lawsuit against Apple, seeking as much as $100 million for alleged patent violation. However, in March last year, a jury in a Texas federal court rejected those claims and awarded their verdict in favor of the Cupertino, California-based tech giant, saying that it could not find any evidence to suggest that Apple had violated any patent held by the Ottawa, Canada-based patent-licensing firm. As for its case against LG Electronics, Core Wireless says that it will now seek a 10¢ per unit running royalty on future sales of all devices found to be violation of its patents, which will be valid until the year 2027.
Coming to some of LG’s smartphone models that are said to have infringed upon the two patents held by Core Wireless, the LG G4 is said to be one such device, but with LG using basically the same user-interface (Optimus UI) on just about all its recent smartphones, a whole bunch of other models launched by the South Korean company in the U.S. since April 2013 are also believed to be in violation of the patents held by the Canadian company. The list reportedly includes LG smartphones that run some of the more recent versions of Android including Jelly Bean, KitKat and Lollipop.