LG has reportedly announced that it has filed a complaint against BLU over the use of five patents related to LTE systems for use with or in smartphones. The complaints landed in the lap of the International Trade Commission, and in the Delaware's US District Court, which would preside over Miami, Florida, the place that BLU calls home. According to LG, who is filing its first ever patent-related suit against an overseas smartphone maker, the company did reach out to BLU to attempt licensing negotiations for the patents in question, but BLU reportedly did not respond, and had even outright refused LG's requests to cease the use of patented technology in the past.
LG's large portfolio of mobile networking is one of the aspects which could prove to be crucial in this dispute. Patent research firm TechIPM was noted stating that LG has the largest volume of patents related to LTE and LTE-Advanced in the United States, an honor that the Korean smartphone giant has reportedly held since 2012. While a number of core technologies essential to LTE operations stand protected under universal patent law, LG's portfolio outside of this space is vast indeed. An exact timeline for the case has not been determined as yet, but speculation points to a preliminary judgment early next year, and a resolution for the case before 2018. If LG does indeed have a legal leg to stand on, BLU will be facing down a far larger foe in court, making a win that much more unlikely.
LG did not name the patents in question, only stating that they were somehow LTE-related. The chief of LG's patent division, Jeong Saeng-gyu, was reported making a firm stand, stating that LG is quite willing to "take decisive actions" in protecting its intellectual property. BLU is a relatively small target in the grand scheme of things, but have reached a fair amount of prominence as the sixth largest smartphone maker in the United States, with some 5.2 million phones sold over the years. While LG dwarfs BLU by most measures, the fact that this has now reached a court0level status, suggests that LG is willing to go the distance with anyone to protect its intellectual property.