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 Taiwanese. Oppo is a part of BBK Electronics, a 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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Source: Sharp

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  • eek2121 - Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - link

    “Be Original” indeed. Be an original patent troll?
  • ksgtjxBAbK - Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - link

    There is the small matter that Foxconn is a Taiwanese company, while BBK is mainland China. Labeling both as Chinese misses a crucial geopolitical detail.
  • curufinwewins - Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - link

    @above.... Foxconn in particular is a VERY messy corporation. Yes, its headquarters are in Taiwan, but I'm honestly unsure if it should be considered overall such these days. All reports are that its Chinese operations are BY far the largest of any country its in (only 6 factories in Taiwan, compared to 12 in China), and the Chinese factories are much larger in footprint and business volume as well. Foxconn is China's largest private employer, and received billions of support direct from the government (and is implicated in various IP disputes on behalf of the Chinese government).

    In our complex multinational age, there is always a question of what it means to be a 'X-national' company. If a company like Alphabet were to move its headquarters from the US to Ireland for taxation purposes, but otherwise kept its profile on workers, history, and interaction base basically the same, would you consider Alphabet an Irish company?

    Don't get me wrong, whatever position you take, the Anandtech variant is incomplete if not blatantly incorrect. I just want to point out that the label is in fact a complicated thing.
  • eek2121 - Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - link

    This lawsuit involves Sharp, not Qualcomm. Sharp’s HQ is in Japan.
  • eek2121 - Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - link

    I meant foxconn, AT needs an edit button. phone autocorrected.
  • close - Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - link

    Calling Sharp patent trolls hardly makes them justice. They are not just a patent holding company hoarding patents and suing. They actually produce(d) real products (inducing phones) and have their own research. In addition we know next to nothing about the lawsuit, the patents in question, and the merit.

    This should put into perspective the value of your "insight".
  • eek2121 - Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - link

    I am well aware of what Sharp currently is.

    LTE is an open standard that is supposed to be supported by FRAND patents. I doubt there is anything in Sharp’s LTE patent portfolio that couldn’t be killed with a prior art claim. (their display/camera stuff is a different story)

    A company filing baseless lawsuits is still a patent troll, even if they make/sell products.
  • ksec - Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - link

    How do you know it is baseless lawsuit?

    Most of these Chinese brands have never operated beyond their Chinese Border and has had the benefits of IP protection, once they go on to the world stage you can no longer play by those rules. Especially if other players are playing in similar terms, whether you think fair or not.
  • Retycint - Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - link

    How do you know it isn't a baseless lawsuit?

    Oppo phones have been sold worldwide for more than a decade, and OnePlus for more than half a decade, so your argument of "China brand operating in China" completely falls flat.
  • supdawgwtfd - Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - link

    "How do you know it isn't a baseless lawsuit?"



    Is your argument that rubbish that you have to try the age old "prove a negative"?

    Sharp has put forward a lawsuit. That's all we have. Until more information is available it is safe to assume that it is not baseless.

    That is how a rational person considers information.

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