Ericsson sues Apple over 41 patents

Ericsson sues Apple over 41 patents


Swedish telecoms company Ericsson has filed seven cases against Apple at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, claiming that the Californian tech company’s products including the iPhone and iPad infringe Ericsson’s patents.

Ericsson has also filed two complaints with the US International Trade Commission, asking for exclusion orders against Apple’s products, the company confirmed on Friday (February 27).

According to a statement by Ericsson, Apple’s global licensing agreement with the Swedish company that covers mobile technology expired in January. Ericsson said that Apple had since “declined” to sign a new deal.

“Ericsson made several attempts to find a fair solution, including an offer for both parties to be bound by a decision on fair licensing terms by a US federal court [eastern Texas],” Ericsson said.

In January, Ericsson asked the eastern Texas district court (in a separate filing) to assess whether its licensing fees were fair.

Apple, in the same month, had asked the US District Court for the Northern District of California to find that Ericsson’s mobile related patents are not essential to LTE standards and accused Ericsson of seeking “excessive royalty rates”, according to Bloomberg.

In the seven infringement actions, Ericsson has asserted 41 patents that the company said cover many aspects of Apple’s products, and include standard-essential patents (SEPs) protecting the 2G and 4G/LTE standards. Ericsson seeks damages in these actions.

LTE is the standard for high-speed data communication in mobile phone networks.

Ericsson’s chief IP officer Kasim Alfalahi said in a statement: “Apple's products benefit from the technology invented and patented by Ericsson’s engineers. Features that consumers now take for granted—like being able to livestream television shows or access their favorite apps from their phone—rely on the technology we have developed.

“We are committed to sharing our innovations and have acted in good faith to find a fair solution,” he said.

Apple said in an emailed statement: “We’ve always been willing to pay a fair price to secure the rights to SEPs covering technology in our products. Unfortunately, we have not been able to agree with Ericsson on a fair rate for their patents.”

Ericsson owns more than 35,000 patents worldwide and has signed more than 100 patent licensing agreements.

(Source: WIPR)

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It is lucky for Chen Jun to began his career in the IP industry 14 years ago when the first group of IP managers for businesses appeared on the stage in China and he has been in the industry.

It was this “Whampoa Military Academy” for IP that educated China’s first batch of corporate IP management personnel. Many of these engineers left Foxconn in the years since.