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Wireless equipment maker LM Ericsson said Wednesday it is suing Britain-based mobile phone company Sendo in three countries for alleged patent infringement. Sendo responded by accusing Ericsson of unfair licensing practices and said it has filed a complaint against the Swedish company with European Union competition authorities. Ericsson said Sendo’s mobile phone products infringe on certain Ericsson patents covering GSM and GPRS technologies. It said it filed the lawsuits in Britain, the Netherlands and Germany. Ericsson said it is seeking an injunction against the continued sale and marketing of Sendo’s mobile phone products and unspecified monetary damages. “We believe that Sendo is using Ericsson patented technology, but they have so far not signed a license agreement with Ericsson. Under these circumstances we have no choice but to take Sendo to court,” said company spokesman Kasim Alfalahi. Ericsson said it is committed to make its technology available to all in the industry who want to use it through licensing. Phones that use the GSM standard, or Global System for Mobile communications, account for a majority of the world’s wireless users. The company said most of the world’s manufacturers of GSM and GPRS, or General Packet Radio Service, mobile phones have already joined the Ericsson patent licensing program. “Basically, all we ask is that companies who use technology invented by Ericsson compensate us for this, the same way we are prepared to compensate others for our use of their technology,” Alfalahi said. Sendo in turn accused the Swedish company of seeking to license its patents to third parties on an “unfair, anti-competitive, abusive and discriminatory basis leading to the charging of excessive royalty rates.” It said the excessive royalty payments restrict competition and exclude new market entrants from operating effectively, or at all, in the GSM market. In midday trading Wednesday, U.S.-traded shares of Ericsson rose 70 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $29.01 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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