Ericsson and Apple set for US patent battle

Ericsson and Apple set for US patent battle

14 JAN 2015

Ericsson and Apple have both filed lawsuits in the US courts, following failed patent negotiations which have left the iPhone maker without a licence to Ericsson’s technology.

The Swedish infrastructure vendor said that “every Apple smartphone and tablet with cellular capability uses technology from Ericsson”. Having failed to reach an agreement through negotiation, it is now looking to receive an independent assessment of whether its global licensing offer complies with a commitment to offering “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory” terms.

The move follows a suit filed earlier this week by Apple, which asked a US court to find that it does not infringe what Ericsson describes as “a small subset” of its patents. According to Reuters, the iPhone maker is arguing that Ericsson’s LTE patents are not essential to the standard, and that it is demanding excessive royalties.

Apple said that Ericsson is looking for royalties based on the price of a smartphone or tablet – which in the case of the US company’s premium products, is high. Instead, the calculation should be based on the value of the chip which includes the technology – a metric less affected by use in expensive products.

Kasim Alfalahi, chief intellectual property officer at Ericsson, said in a statement: “Our goal is to reach a mutually beneficial relationship with Apple. They have been a valued partner for years and we hope to continue that partnership.”

“We believe it is reasonable to get fair compensation from companies benefiting from the development we have made over the course of the last 30 years,” the executive continued.

Apple is not the only device vendor to have been on the receiving end of an action from Ericsson in recent months. The Swedish company filed a complaint against ambitious Chinese player Xiaomi in India during December 2014.

And Apple itself is no stranger to the courts, most notably through its long-running disputes with Samsung. It also took part in a long-running dispute with Google, which was settled last year.


Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

Read more