LG is suing budget phone maker Blu over alleged patent infringement


At this point, most people should be aware of the existence of Blu, makers of a number of budget but quality smartphones, which has been steadily gaining popularity in the United States for the past few years. But it appears making it big among consumers also makes you a fresh target for patent lawsuits, one of the smartphone industry's oldest and most cherished traditions: today, LG Electronics has announced it is suing the company for infringing upon five LTE-related patents.

The Korean giant has also requested a ban on sales of all of Blu's smartphones on US territory from the International Trade Commission. LG claims it has sent four warnings last year, but none of them have received a response. The damages were submitted in a Delaware court, and a preliminary judgement is expected in the first half of next year.

This isn't the first time Blu has been the target of a patent case: last year, BlackBerry claimed the company infringed on more than a dozen of its patents. It's not immediately clear whether the US-based phone maker has the habit of using unlicensed technology, or whether both cases are an overreach by a bigger company designed to put monetary strain on a smaller rival.

Patent lawsuits are a frequently-used tool for stifling competition in the smartphone industry: there's the now-classic Apple vs. Palm lawsuit regarding multi-touch technology, as well as the still-ongoing Apple vs. Samsung patent war. Lawsuits like LG's, however, are a particularly nasty breed, as they concern not device design or function, but rather a communication protocol, namely LTE, which is an essential function of any smart device nowadays. Still, it's up to the court to decide whether the case has merit, so we'll be keeping you updated as more news becomes available.

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6 Comments

1. TheOracle1

Posts: 2215; Member since: May 04, 2015

Since Blu phones are mainly rebranded Gionee's and I believe Vivo's, it will be interesting to see how they respond. Blu are very popular in South and Central America so maybe that's LG's real target.

2. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

Yeah, I would imagine if Gionee is paying for use on the patents BLU would have some protection under it. But maybe LG and BlackBerry have the patent use dictated per country, or unable to be used by licensees or subsidiaries.

3. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

LG going at it. Blu is gonna have a hard time... But that's what they get for rebranding Chinese phones which are notorious of copying and infringing on patents.

4. btbotimtim

Posts: 272; Member since: Dec 08, 2010

let blu sell their junk. dont act like qualcomm.

6. sheetflyer960

Posts: 1; Member since: Mar 13, 2017

Yes, what you said!

5. bleevan

Posts: 14; Member since: Sep 08, 2015

Another reason not buy LG and their bootloop garbage. Back off dickheads and just make better products!

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