Sharp has filed a lawsuit for patent infringement against Oppo and Oppo Japan. Sharp is accusing Oppo of infringing several of its 4G/LTE patents covering communication technologies used in smartphones.
The lawsuits were filed in the District Court Munich I, the District Court Mannheim, and the Tokyo District Court. Sharp has not disclosed which of its patents have been infringed and which damages and remedies it seeks. Meanwhile, many patent infringement cases are filed in order to eventually settle them and sign a broad cross-licensing agreement.
One noteworthy thing about the lawsuit — and that is perhaps an important one for the story in general — is who sues who. Sharp belongs to Foxconn Electronics, the world’s largest contract producer of electronics based out of China. Oppo is a part of BBK Electronics, another Chinese company, which owns brands like OnePlus, Vivo, and Realme. In fact, BBK is one of the world’s largest makers of smartphones in the world, well ahead of Apple. So while Sharp and Oppo aren’t necessarily huge names, the companies behind them are some of the biggest in the business.
All told, an LTE patent infringement suit at this point in time comes off as a bit odd. Widespread use of LTE began almost a decade ago, so companies have been shipping LTE gear for several years now. And, with the exception of perhaps Qualcomm’s legal scuffles, LTE had seemed to be a largely settled matter, with the major patents and patent pools well understood. None the less, here we are.
Oppo yet has to comment on the lawsuit against itself and how it plans to defend itself.
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