Chinese company sues over phone technology

Ericsson (China) Co. Ltd. confirmed Thursday it is being sued by a Chinese mobile phone manufacturer that alleges the company infringed its intellectual property in using a Chinese-text input system in its phones.

Tu Min, a spokeswoman for Ericsson China, said that a hearing on the case was held Wednesday in Beijing. Ericsson used the eZiTxt technology, which is trademarked and patented, through a licensing agreement with Canadian company Zi Corp., Tu said.

The Web site of the official People’s Daily newspaper reported Wednesday that Hanpu Applied Technologies Co. is suing Ericsson China as well as Beijing Ericsson Mobile Communications Co. Ltd., both subsidiaries of L.M. Ericsson Telephone Co., and Motorola Inc.

The two separate suits, one against the Ericsson subsidiaries and one against Motorola, both are being heard in the Beijing Higher People’s Court.

Hanpu, located in the Northeast China port of Dalian, is seeking compensation of 5 million renminbi (US$604,000) from Ericsson and 10 million renminbi from Motorola.

In China, Ericsson and Motorola are competing against both Chinese and other foreign manufacturers for a large and fast-growing mobile phone market that is currently the world’s second largest with about 85 million customers.

Motorola officials could not be reached for comment.

Ericsson, in Stockholm, can be reached at Motorola, in Schaumburg, Ill., can be reached at