Lenovo (United States) Inc., part of the global technology corporation, Lenovo Group, filed a patent infringement action on November 15th with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) against ASUSTeK Computer Inc. and ASUS Computer International (ASUS) for infringement of a variety of Lenovo’s patents related to software, hardware, and connectivity across multiple ASUS products. The action is in response to ASUS’s August 2023 filings in the Regional Court of Munich related to cellular technologies, where Lenovo had offered a cross-licensing deal as a solution.
Lenovo is a strong proponent of cross-licensing agreements, open and transparent negotiations, and licensing within the industry on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. This is evidenced by the Group’s ongoing litigation with InterDigital, where it advocated for greater transparency and less discrimination in licensing negotiations and was proven by the UK Court to be a willing licensee. The action against ASUSTeK reflects the Group’s commitment to protecting its significant contributions to technology innovation and industry “firsts” over the past 39 years, building a portfolio of over 28,000 patents with a further 14,000 applications pending.
Commenting on the patent assertion, John Mulgrew, Lenovo’s Deputy General Counsel and Chief Intellectual Property Officer, commented: “We feel the time has come for us to assert our patent portfolio more actively – given its strength and our position and experience as both licensee and licensor – to achieve greater balance in licensing. Increasingly, we’re seeing some licensors bypass FRAND discussions and rely instead on threats to extract inflated, supra-FRAND royalties from licensees. We think the better approach entails mutual respect, openness, and fairness, and outside assistance with FRAND if negotiations are at an impasse. While litigation is always Lenovo’s last resort, we do believe we need to protect our intellectual property while continuing to encourage transparency in licensing to enable ongoing investment in innovation and to ensure that customers around the world can benefit from the proliferation of affordable technology.”
Lenovo invests US$2.2 billion annually in research and development, and recently announced a further US$1 billion investment in AI innovation. It is regularly recognized for its commitment to and excellence in innovation – ranking #24 on Boston Consulting Group’s annual top 50 ‘World’s Most Innovative Companies’ list and recently winning Time’s ‘Best Inventions of 2023’ for the Yoga Book 9i and the Rollable Laptop.
Lenovo is represented in this matter by the global law firm DLA Piper.