Ericsson faces $61m fine over patent violation

A US jury has awarded communications equipment company Harris about $61m (£39m) in compensatory damages in a patent infringement...

A US jury has awarded communications equipment company Harris about $61m (£39m) in compensatory damages in a patent infringement case it brought against Ericsson.

The jury found that Ericsson's mobile phones and base stations infringe a patent held by Harris.

The award of about $61m to Harris could be doubled or tripled by the court because the jury found Ericsson's conduct "willful". Ericsson is expected to appeal.

Mads Madsen, an Ericsson spokesman, said the case was not yet closed as the judge still had to make a decision on the matter.

"It is important not to misread the [Harris statement]; the case is not closed and the court decision has not been made. This is the jury; the judge makes the final decision," said Madsen.

"The jury has not decided in favour of Ericsson and we think they are wrong. We are now waiting for the judge to make the court's decision," he said. "If the judge sides with the jury we will appeal. It can be years before there is a final decision. We do not believe we infringed on Harris's patent."

The case concerns a patent for time division multiple access (TDMA) speech encoding used predominantly in US mobile phone networks.

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