Ericsson and Apple struck a multi-year global patent licensing deal and mutually agreed to strengthen business and technology ties, in a settlement which ends all ongoing patent-related legal disputes between the pair.

The companies stated their agreement includes a global cross-licence for standard-essential technologies and grants certain other patent rights. Ericsson said it expects Q4 2022 licensing revenue to hit SEK5.5 billion ($531.5 million) to SEK6 billion as a result of the settlement and ongoing IPR business with all other licensees.

Along with collaborating more closely on technology and business, the companies will also work together on interoperability and standards development.

The agreement is particularly significant as it brings to an end long-running patent disputes between the Swedish vendor and the iPhone maker.

Ericsson and Apple had been involved in something of a tit-for-tat 5G patent war, with both taking legal action in the US in 2021 as negotiations commenced in 2015 to renew a seven-year licensing contract failed.

While the previous deal covered 2G, 3G and 4G, they were unable to reach an agreement on 5G.

Strategic importance
Ericsson CIO Christina Petersson said it was pleased to settle litigation by striking the agreement, “which is of strategic importance to our 5G licensing programme”.

“This will allow both companies to continue to focus on bringing the best technology to the global market.”

Despite the agreement, Ericsson however warned its IPR licensing revenue would continue to be affected by several areas, including expired agreements pending renewal, the shift from 4G to 5G, and currency and geopolitical headwinds.